I often wonder “Why do we welcome technology more in our cars than in our homes?” After all, let’s go back to the last time you approached your car: You probably pressed the button on a remote that unlocked the door and disarmed the alarm. As you pull back on the door in your car, the light conveniently comes on for you inside and the seat moves back. When you sit down, and either put your key in or press start, the seat moves forward as the steering wheel moves down and towards you. As you take a drive down the road, your favorite music is just a single button press away on the six presets. Why doesn’t your house do all this?
In our homes, thousands of products are available to give you the same experience as in your car; people just don’t know about them. For example, there are ways to install a remote on your keychain that unlocks your door and disarms the alarm. It’s also rather easy to install a simple keypad beside your entry door. These six buttons act as “presets” for you and your home. Much like the 6 buttons on your car stereo, press the #1 or “Welcome” button, and your house takes on the setting that you prefer, like having the lights illuminate the path to your bedroom closet, your thermostat change to “comfort mode,” and your favorite music to start playing throughout the house.
My favorite preset is the “Wake Up” button. First, every morning at my scheduled wakeup time, my thermostat raises the temperature, the shades go up, and easy listening music comes through my speaker system very softly for two minutes. After two minutes, the volume increases and switches to my rock playlist. After I am up and headed to the shower, I press my “Good Morning” button. This plays that rock playlist through my bathroom speakers, and the lights very slowly work their way up to 70% over two minutes. When I am finished getting ready, I press the “Goodbye” preset, and all of my music shuts down. My thermostat lowers if it’s winter, raises if it’s summer, the security system turns on, and all lights turn off.
In the past, this was the technology for the most opulent houses around. And while, of course, the level of extravagance can increase the price exponentially, a 6-button keypad that holds the “presets” is only $199. It goes without saying that you have to have the other stuff like speakers and a stereo system to take full advantage, but I am constantly going into clients’ homes and making all of their rooms talk to one another with their existing equipment. So, every time you hit that keyless entry button on your car, or hit that favorite channel preset on the stereo, think of how cool that could be in your house.