As more Americans integrate smart-home technology into their lives, it brings up a valid question: When it comes to buying or selling a house, what determines whether a home is truly smart, or if it has just learned some cool tricks?
Coldwell Banker Real Estate and CNET recently joined forces to create a working definition for the term “smart home.” The idea was to outline a consistent and clear set of criteria to help eliminate confusion for real estate agents, as well as buyers and sellers.
Lindsey Turrentine, editor-in-chief of CNET.com, said the project is a major step toward quantifying a concept that even the most savvy technology followers have a hard time agreeing on. Smart-home technology is still fragmented, she said, and taking a stab at an “official” definition is a step in the right direction.
“Eighty-seven percent of Americans acknowledge the value of smart-home technology,” Turrentine said. “We want to make it easy for everyone to better understand what a smart home is in order to simplify the process in helping them choose the right devices for their homes.”
The detailed information is on Coldwell Banker’s website, but here’s a quick overview:
- A smart home should have an internet connection along with network-connected products (via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee or other protocols) that control various home functions either remotely (by a phone, tablet or computer) or by a separate system within the home.
- The property must have either a smart security feature that either controls or monitors the property; or a smart temperature control function.
- It also must include at least two additional features from a specific list of smart options such as security, lighting, sensors, appliances, entertainment, or safety detectors.
It isn’t the first time Coldwell Banker and CNET have teamed up on the topic of the smart home. In 2015, they joined forces for a survey of approximately 4,000 adults and found:
- More than 1 in 4 adults (28 percent) have a smart-home product in their home.
- Among so-called “Millennials,” ages 18-34, almost half had a smart-home product.
- More than three-quarters (76 percent) of adopters controlled one or more smart-home products with a mobile device.
- More than half (57 percent) estimated that smart-home technology saves them an average of 30 minutes each day, while 45 percent said that smart-home technology saves them about $98 a month.
That definition seems to be a solid foundation, although it’s likely to continue evolving as features like voice control or geo-fencing become more mainstream. At Monitronics, we have steadily grown our smart-home capabilities to match any of our competitors. Our network of more than 600 authorized dealers can offer security systems, locks, lights, thermostats, sensors and other devices that will make your home smart by anyone’s definition.