Imagine your alarm clock going off, bright and early in the morning. You manage to croak out five simple words: “Alexa, turn on good morning”. Your bedroom lights come on to the perfect dimness for the hour, maybe your blinds go up, the radio or TV tunes to your favorite morning news show, and your thermostat starts raising to the temperature you like to leave your home while at work. It may sound like something from Ironman’s penthouse, but it’s not. It’s all over homes, right here in our area.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about thermostat and security system technology that you can control from your phone, and how smart technology is beginning to infiltrate homes everywhere.
Well, this week, the UrHous media team had the opportunity to meet with Matt Riley, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Royal Oaks Homes, a leading developer of smart homes in the Triangle Area. What Mr. Riley had to share with us would truly excite followers of Tony Stark (or any sci-fi, Panic-Room type fan).
According to Riley, a smart home is defined as a home that has two or more smart devices that connect to the internet, can communicate with each other, and can be controlled remotely. Royal Oaks has a base set of smart technology that is included in any model and priced home. The door, the lights, and the thermostat are all included in the package. What does this mean?
- The door: someone rings the doorbell, and you’re upstairs with your tablet hooked up to your home. Video pops up and you can see and speak to the person at your door. You can also tell Alexa to lock your doors, assign codes to people who need to enter your home (and control the times and days that their code can work- think house sitters, repairmen, etc.).
- Lights: Simple voice commands, or taps of your phone, can turn lights on, off, and to specific levels of dimness to brightness. I love this idea for when I’m carrying in groceries in the evening of darker winter months.
- Thermostat: Think ultimate control and money saver. For example, if you want your home at 73 degrees by 6 p.m., it starts cooling your home from daytime temperatures so it’s 73 when you walk in.
- Also important to note: Unlike other smart home developers, Royal Oaks smart technology can be operated from ANY system (iPhones, Android, Google Homes, Amazon, etc.) and from separate systems. As in, your Android loving self, and i-partner CAN find harmony in your home!
With all these futuristic sounding qualities of a home, you may wonder if you can afford such luxuries and simplicities to do what Riley labels “streamlining your life”. The fact is, these technologies are becoming more abundant and, at least for Royal Oaks homes, are included in every home, ranging from the $200,000s to $600,000s. While some smart home developers charge monthly fees or make you use specific software, apps, and so on; others, like Royal Oaks, develop systems that you can easily expand on, and- as mentioned- can use any operating system (so keep this in mind while shopping for smart homes). All in all, these homes are accessible and can be a reality for you, right here in the Triangle. Watch our media team’s video to see these features in action!
Article by Kristen Stephenson, Urhous Contributor