For more information on this beautiful home – see the article by Zillow – here
The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) recently wrapped up in Las Vegas, and one idea creating a big buzz was “The Connected Home.” This isn’t a particularly new idea, and it has been talked about for years at CES, but it appears as if the technology is finally catching up with the idea, and having your very own connected home is not so very far away.
These new technologies, which include such devices as voice-controlled thermostats, toothbrushes that can tell you whether or not you’re doing a good job on your teeth, and refrigerators that play music are part of a new world of web-connected devices dubbed “The Internet of Things.”
According to the Gartner research firm, by 2020, the Internet of Things will include 26 billion devices, with a market worth of $1.9 trillion.
What can the Internet of Things do for your home? Will these new devices enable your bed to make itself and leave a chocolate on your pillow? Not quite, but some of the new features are pretty handy. Here’s a roundup of some of the new and upcoming products featured at CES, to give you a better idea of what a home of the future will look like.
A Bluetooth-enable refrigerator that allows you to listen to music in your kitchen? A washer/dryer that can be commanded to clean from afar? These are two of the new “connected home” products featured at CES.
Whirlpool® debuted a line of Smart Appliances that give you the option of checking to see that everything is running smoothly at home, even when you’re far away. There is a washer/dryer pair called the “Duet.” You can monitor energy usage and access certain settings when you’re out, but you can’t get it to suck the laundry from the floor and wash it while you’re gone. Each one runs you approximately $1,700.
The refrigerator keeps you up-to-date on temperature settings, and power outages and allows you to manage other features such as your drinking water. This retails for about $2,000.
The $949 smart dishwasher, allows you to monitor energy use and lets you know when certain parts need replacing.
Samsung is another player in the smart home arena. The company’s platform, called “Samsung Smart Home,” debuted at CES and the roll-out along with pricing is planned during the first half of the year.
The initial platform consists of three main services: Device Control, Home View, and Smart Customer Service. With Device Control you can access customized settings for all of your devices from your smartphone—while you’re out of the house—or on your Smart TV when you’re at home. You have the ability to control multiple devices at once, no matter how far you travel. The service will also allow you to use voice commands with your Galaxy Gear or Smart TV remote. You can tell your device that you’re “going out,” for example, and your connected lights and appliances of choice will turn off as you leave. Smart!
Robotic vacuums are nothing new, but now they are getting more affordable. Neato Robotics already has a robotic vacuum, but this year they’re launching one that’s more affordable to the masses. In March, you’ll be able to pick up the Neato XV Essential for $379 at Walmart.com
The iRobot Roomba has a new version out as well. It boasts 60 percent more storage space and greater cleaning capacity than the former version and retails for $699.
The company also makes a robotic pool cleaner!
A Smart Crockpot?
It doesn’t get much better than this. A slow cooker that you can control from your smart phone, so your pork ribs are falling perfectly off the bone by the time you arrive home. This is a product from Belkin that launches sometime this spring and is set to retail for $99.99.
Control Your Climate & Beyond
Trane, Herman Miller, and Nest are a sampling of companies who want to help you control the climate of your home from afar. These devices not only adjust your temperature, but look better on your wall than their old counterparts.
Nest also made the recent leap to the connected smoke detector. The sleek, round-edged square has a pale blue light glowing at its center which acts as a motion detector night light, to help guide your way through a dark hallway. This smart smoke alarm will also alert you to any smoke or fire problems at home when you’re not there.
A Smart Toothbrush?
The perfect gift for your kids. Now you can see if they actually brushed their teeth and if they did a thorough job! The Kolibree toothbrush claims to be the first “connected toothbrush” that improves your brushing habits. Not only does it track how often your brush your teeth (or not), it claims to know what parts of your mouth you missed or didn’t pay enough attention to.
Controlling your lights while away is another feature of the connected home. Forgot to turn on lights to scare away the burglars? Not a problem. Do it with your smartphone.
An Intelligent Lock
Another connected home feature of note at CES was the Goji Smartlock. The lock takes a picture of visitors at your front door and can be accessed via your smartphone
Ready for 2012? Here it comes:
1. Lose weight (cut energy use)
2. Quit smoking (purify indoor air)
3. Get out of debt (budget for improvements)
4. Learn something new (educate yourself on home finances)
5. Get organized (de-clutter)
6. Volunteer (support your community)
7. Drink less (curb home water use)
8. Spend more time with the family (share home improvement projects)
9. Get fit (exercise your DIY skills)
10. Be less stressed (use maintenance-free materials)
At annual builders’ show, small is in
Among the trends highlighted at the International Builders€™ Show, more Americans are saying goodbye to McMansions and are buying ‘right-sized’ homes instead. There€™s also high interest in green elements, organization, fewer luxuries and practical appliances.
These days, a bigger home isn’t always a better one: Recent research suggests that homes being built today are getting smaller.
The average size of homes started in the third quarter of 2008 was 2,438 square feet, down from 2,629 square feet in the second quarter, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Similarly, the median size of homes started in the third quarter was 2,090 square feet, down from 2,291. The statistics confirm what the housing industry has suspected for a while.
“We’ve been hearing for a long time ‘Why is the home size not declining?'” said Gopal Ahluwalia, vice president of economic research for the National Association of Home Builders. He spoke about the trend at the International Builders€™ Show in Las Vegas this week. Anecdotally, he had heard smaller homes were being built as housing prices tumbled and the economy began to weaken. Still, “we never had data to back it up,” he said.
Gayle Butler, editor-in-chief of Better Homes and Gardens, said that for many homeowners, it is not so much a matter of downsizing as “right-sizing,” giving up big homes with unused space and buying a home that better fits their needs.
According to the Better Homes and Gardens study, top priorities in a new home include an affordable price, natural light and comfortable family gathering places. The era of supersizing may be ending, Butler said, with buyers looking for a home that is “right-sized, organized and economized.”
Other consumer housing trends include:
- Fewer luxuries. Consumers say they need fewer luxuries in their next home, Butler said. In the magazine€™s survey, 20% or more of the participants viewed upgraded landscaping, upgraded finishes such as granite countertops and luxurious master suites as less important in their next home, she said. High ceilings in main living areas were less important to 35% of those surveyed. There are also fewer fireplaces in new homes: While 62% of new homes completed in 1991 had at least one fireplace, 51% had a fireplace in 2007, according to Census statistics.
- Green elements. A wide majority €” 90% €” said they’re planning to have energy-efficient heating and cooling systems in their next home, and 31% would like to have geothermal heat, Butler said. There has also been increased interest in home gardens, with more people wanting to know where their food is grown, said Robin Avni, senior director and consumer strategist for Iconoculture, a cultural-trend research company. “The green theme touches everything in the home, from the food we look to consume, our health concerns in the home, building €” even our furnishings in the home,” Avni said.
- Getting organized. With smaller spaces, organization systems are continuing their popularity. More entryways are being outfitted for storage, and homeowners often want more functional use of wall space, Butler said. The magazine found that 69% of survey participants said no-space-wasted design and ample storage will take on more importance in their next home.
- Practical appliances. Although sales of appliances have been down, freezer sales have been up. The reason: More people are shopping for bargains and freezing what they won’t use right away. “Appliance sales have taken a hit … except the freezer. Which is really all about going back to basics, a very practical kind of living,” Avni said. “If you look at your parents and your grandparents, they used to have a freezer €” they used to buy stuff on sale and put it in the freezer and use it for later. It wasn’t just run out and buy something that day.”
Our state is in a drought situation – February 27, 2009, Govenor Schwarzenegger declared….and I still drive down the street and see people “watering their sidewalks, driveways and even worse, the street in front of them.” Sweeping up these areas is just as effective. I love it when I see someone watering the street in front of their house – they are usually hosing the debris in front of their house away and down the street to land in front of someone else’s house. That is just down right rude if you ask me and incredibly lazy. Get a broom and a dustpan – sweep the debris in front of your house into the dust pan – and throw it away in your own trash can. Now that makes sense in so many ways…our state may have to enforce drought restrictions soon.
Residential water consumption is the biggest contributor to California’s urban water use – over 2.2 Trillion gallons a year! That’s half the annual flow of the Colorado River: one of California’s main sources of water. There are so many neat ways to conserve water these days – http://www.BeWaterWise.com is a great resource. There are a lot of Rebates the State of CA is offering to those who purchase the following items for their home: 1) Low Flow Toilets 2) High Efficiency Clothes Washers 3) Weather Based Irrigation (which I didn’t even know existed – what a great idea. Nothing worse then driving down the street on a rainy day and see someone with their sprinklers on full blast!) 4) Synthetic Turf. Synthetic Turf seems to be the new thing these days. What a great idea if you ask me. No watering, no grass cutting, and it’s always green regardless of the sun exposure or how many trees are on it or how many kids play on it!! And you can install a “putting green” as part of the plan – pretty cool!
Let’s all get Waterwise and save our resources and our planet!