The Future is Now for Home Technology, Here’s How to Make it Work for Your Home
August 30, 2021
Text by Kristin Amico
Home technology makes life easier. Smart blinds lower automatically in bright sun, intelligent ovens know when to turn off, so we never burn a pot roast again, and comfort and customization make your home office more productive than the real office. The downside is that without the right planning, installation and maintenance, more technology can make life more complicated, not less. This is where a home automation integrator comes in.
With an influx of new home technology and automation options, we spoke to Michael Oh, president of TSP Smart Spaces, on the benefits of a streamlined technology and design implementation and how an integrator can tie it all together.
Oh’s team brings a diverse perspective on transforming home technology from a dull utility into a convenient experience that fuses function with exceptional design.
Increase Home Comfort and Enjoyment While Maximizing Design
When Oh and his team work on residential spaces, they seek to understand the homeowners’ needs and the designer’s vision.
“Adding home technology, whether for your office, living room, or entertainment space, should put you in control and add to the enjoyment of your living space,” notes Oh.
He advises considering smart home technology as part of the design process to create a seamless marriage of design and technology. For example, if you are planning a renovation, consider things like built-in speakers, automated blinds, or security systems before finalizing design and construction. That lets the integrator partner with the design and construction teams to implement everything from invisible speakers built into walls to molding or other woodwork that hides control panels and switches.
One of the biggest ah-ha moments for clients is realizing they can control lighting in multiple rooms from a central location or remote device, so they don’t have to walk down two flights of stairs to turn off the kitchen lights.
Create a Smart Home Office
“The demand for home technology and automation has advanced the equivalent of five years during the pandemic. Much of that is due to the proliferation of fully functional home offices,” says Oh.
Having a room with a desk, a monitor, and an internet connection is no longer good enough. For many, the home has become the new central office, and at-home work areas need to be just as functional as a corporate office. That requires smart planning to integrate technology into a space while making sure it still feels like a home. Another benefit of integrated planning is that it will help define which technology solutions are for work, like video conferencing, and which ones are for entertainment, like media rooms.
With that in mind, Oh recommends thinking about home office technology in two parts: function and design, and security.
Strengthen Cybersecurity for Home and Work Devices
After creating a design- and technology-needs checklist, Oh’s team put their IT and IT security background to use. With dozens, sometimes hundreds, of smart devices connecting to the internet, your home cybersecurity is crucial to keeping yourself protected from cyberattacks.
“From this perspective, we think of a home as a computer with a roof. A typical homeowner might have a work internet network and personal internet network, and they have a variety of smart appliances ranging from Alexa to a smart oven. Additionally, home security devices are tied to some or all these networks. If every single connected appliance is not fully secured, it’s like leaving the front door open to hackers or thieves,” explains Oh.
His team develops relationships with clients to understand how they can build security into the project from the beginning and create multiple secure networks. If your smart fridge is hacked, you want peace of mind knowing your appliances aren’t on the same network as your work documents.
Create a Long-Term Technology Plan
Working with a home technology team that provides installation and maintenance will put your mind at ease. Just like your laptop requires operating updates, smart home tech, especially security and IT systems, need to be maintained and updated regularly. A team that specializes in smart home support and installation can work with you on maintenance or upgrades before they become problematic.
“Everyone shouldn’t need to be a technology expert to reap the benefits. That’s why we operate a Boston-based help desk with technically trained staff so that any issue, big or small, can be solved as quickly as possible,” adds Oh.
“When you are in your home, you want to feel secure and comfortable. The right technology alongside the right support team will help you accomplish that.”
TSP Smart Spaces, Boston, www.tsp.space