Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 42

Future Vision
The Future of Design is Smart
Understanding both the enterprise-integration domain and the
residential-integration world is an obvious way for integrators to stand out.
By Evan Kirstel
TWO-PLUS YEARS after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,
the lasting effects of this tremendous life change are now
evident. We've had to work remotely, stay indoors more and
transform our activities into things we can do without the
need to travel. This has led to us having a deeper relationship
with our homes.
Fortunately, it all happened in an era when a house is not
just a place where you can eat and sleep. Society has already
made great progress transforming the place where we live into
a smart home.
Statistics put the number of smart homes in the world
at around 200 million, and that number is only expected to
rise. That's not surprising because smart-home devices and
home-automation systems are becoming increasingly usable,
accessible and affordable.
Even people who cannot call their home " smart " are
probably already using smart-home devices - these include
everything from smart sensors, to tools such as robot vacuums,
to voice assistants like Alexa. Homes are increasingly
becoming " smart " as we continually adopt new technologies.
In addition, having a smart home typically allows one to have a
stylish place with amazing interior design, which is also aimed
at pleasing the eyes.
Less Clutter, More Style
Arguably, clutter is the thing in a house that is most displeasing
thing to the eyes. It can take many forms - for example, an
apartment filled with trinkets and furniture, things being strewn
all over the place, etc. But one type of clutter has already started
disappearing from people's houses as they transform them into
smart homes: The pile of remote controls and the endless wires
are vanishing.
The latest interior-design trends show a tendency toward
simple, minimalist home interiors. That is especially true in the
audiovisual world.
Having wireless devices throughout the house, all of them
controllable from one app, makes one's home appear more
modern and stylish. Decorating and integrating new pieces of
furniture is much easier when there's no need to worry about
heavy devices or about wires that must be placed near an
electrical outlet.
42
Commercial Integrator SEPTEMBER 2022
Aesthetically Pleasing Devices
It appears that 2022 is the year of smart homes crossed with
interior design, as there are now gadgets that also serve decorative
purposes. I fully expect this trend to continue for many
years from now, as tech designers develop smart-home devices
that can seamlessly integrate into people's home d├ęcor. We see
this when people are empowered to choose the color of their
devices; we also see it in pieces that are both tech tools and
cool design elements. Ultimately, the smart-home movement
can be part of numerous interior-design styles.
Smart-home devices that have wood textures and natural
colors tend to work incredibly well in the Scandinavian and
Japandi interior-design styles, while the minimalist style is
complemented by sleek and monochromic devices.
Metallic-type devices, too, can fit perfectly in an industrial-style
home. Whatever the home design might be, rest assured that
it's possible to find smart-home devices that will look great as
part of that design and fit right in!
Home-Automation Systems
Home-automation systems bring more security and comfort to
people's lives; that, in turn, tends to enhance their well-being.
An automated home offers complete control of all one's devices
from a single smartphone app. There's no need to worry about
whether the windows are locked or the door is bolted. Using just
a smartphone, one can check those things and, if necessary,
perform the desired command with a simple screen touch.
Media-Room Design
Our relationship with our home has changed in the last two
years; so, too, has our relationship with entertainment. Yes, we
will continue to see a movie or have a night out with our friends,
but, as technology continually evolves, we will see our home
increasingly become equipped with more usable home-theater
spaces and media rooms.
A media room is a dedicated space in the home for entertainment.
It's a place to watch movies, have gatherings, throw
parties, play games, etc. Those who don't currently have a dedicated
space for such activities should consider turning a spare
room, or even the living room, into a media room. The great
thing about having smart media rooms is that everything is set
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