As a condo developer that has already embraced smart home technology in a new condo downtown Toronto, we felt it crucial that we speak with Canderel about their experience and perspective on the future of smart home features.
We had the opportunity to chat with Rizwan Dhanji, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, Residential Group, Canderel, about next steps and what needs to happen for more builders and developers to integrate smart home features into new housing projects.
Newinhomes.com (NIH): Do you think there will be a time when smart home features are standard in all new home projects? Why or why not?
Rizwan Dhanji (RD): Some smart home features will be standard as the price of the technology starts to fall to be in line with developer budgets. We are seeing some developments offering smart thermostats, smart locks, and other technologies as standard already. As long as the technology is usable from all types of devices whether Android or iOS, then it will make sense for developers as compatibility is also key.
NIH: Do you think cost can still be a big obstacle to getting more smart tech in new homes?
RD: Cost not so much as compatibility and weeding through the myriad of different systems to figure out which is right for you and your home. There are too many different smart locks, thermostats etc. to choose from and people need a company that can identify what they want in their home and pick the right technologies for them. This doesn't exist at the moment but will be important for adoption in the future.
NIH: So, are buyers asking about smart home tech upgrades?
RD: They are asking for the upgrades but not in huge numbers. The reason is there is no single protocol for smart technologies. Samsung has its own technology, Apple has its own, Google has its own, etc. Not all are compatible with every device or if they are, not seamlessly. People don't want to have to go into 10 different apps to control each device in their home. That isn't the point of smart systems. It should be seamless from your phone or tablet to control. Until the industry comes up with a single protocol, the uptake won't be that high, but I am hearing that the Internet of Things will be changing this in the near future.
NIH: It sounds like you have some hesitation to embrace smart home tech.
RD: Hesitation that technology is changing so quickly and we get worried that the technology will be outdated by the time we complete our condo and install the product that we showed consumers four years prior. And the hesitation on compatibility as mentioned above. There needs to be a single standard.
NIH: Say there was a standard system, what do you think would be the most useful smart tech in a home?
RD: Currently, the most useful is the thermostat and in suite security. It allows the resident to monitor their energy use wherever they are in the world as well as check up on their home from wherever they are. However, the new smart door locks, garage openers, and sound systems are very popular as well.
NIH: Given the opportunity, would you ever team up with a company like Google or Amazon to integrate smart home digital assistants into your new homes?
RD: Yes, as long as it would be compatible with all devices and the costs would be reasonable to the buyer.
NIH: Artificial intelligence has been a hot topic lately. What do you think about new homes coming with a built in AI in the future? Will this ever happen? Would you do it given the option?
RD: I think AI will be the future but I am not sure how the application will work in the home setting. Certainly we will be looking at this as the technology advances and we see the application used in a home and delivers true value to the buyer.
We thank Rizwan for taking the time to chat with us about the use of smart home technology in the new home industry. For a look at what Canderel has in the works, check out their website!