Monday, October 02, 2000

Smarter Homes: Home Automation Applications Here Today

\"It depends on the level of what you want to do to the home," says Kurt Scherf, vice president of research for Parks Associates, Dallas, Texas, a market research company that studies emerging technology in homes.  For simple networks, it's not much of a problem, he adds, but admits that that's not usually the case.

"Some people snake the wires behind the walls.  That would require invasive work.  You can certainly retrofit but the cost to do it is two to four times more because of the labor costs.  It's not really practical unless you're doing something that I call a 'This-Old-House' renovation."

"We expect that by the end of 2004 between 40-48% of all new homes are going to be wired with a structured wiring solution," Scherf says, adding that the gaps between that huge growth and now are the costs and complexity involved with it.  "Many consumers see it as additional fluff of the home,' he says.   "They'd like to be able to do this one piece at a time, incrementally.   Soon it won't require an engineering degree to learn how it works because people will be able to buy products retail and install the pieces themselves."

From the article "Smarter Homes:  Home Automation Applications Here Today," by Nichole L. Reber.

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