As the needs of homebuyers shift, smart home technology advances, bringing homeowners a healthier home.
By DAN BRIDLEMAN
Everywhere you turn today there are conversations about the smart home and the pace in which innovation is accelerating. With the smart home market expected to increase from $23 million today to $44 million in 2023 (Statista), it is no surprise that this conversation continues to capture our attention.
Few people could have anticipated the fundamental societal changes that have unfolded in just the last decade. Our lives are changing at the speed of the digital age and our homes must change too. They must adapt and grow with their residents and work in harmony with our environment.
Today’s smart home systems amplify and extend our own abilities and preferences. It is not only about creating a smarter home; it’s about simplifying our lives. In a fast-paced world of rapidly shifting technology and devices, we at KB Home see our role as being practical curators. We select products with long-term personal value and offer them to our customers as they personalize their new home at the KB Home Design Studios. As we collaborate with our homebuyers, we help them determine their individual technology requirements and identify the best products to meet their needs. For some, that means a top-of-the line, full-spectrum technology suite, while others opt for simplicity and flexibility for the long term.
A major benefit to adding smart systems to the home during initial construction is that it is significantly more affordable than installing the same suite of products after the fact, a compellingly competitive advantage to resale homes. Homeowners can then add freestanding devices that can be updated as technology trends shift in the future.
It is with this in mind that KB Home partnered with Google to expand upon our commitment to innovation and curate a high-quality and customizable smart home system for KB homebuyers.
The KB Smart Home System would not be possible without a clear, consistently strong, and secure signal available throughout the home. Google’s Wi-Fi “mesh” network serves as the base for our connected home system and a growing selection of smart devices. With Google Home and the hands-free help from Google Assistant, homeowners can integrate voice commands for connected appliances, light controls, motorized window shades, door locks and more. A simple “Hey Google! I’m home,” can be used to set a personalized scene based on the homeowner’s unique preferences.
Even as we work to bring these technologies to more homebuyers than ever, we have kept our eye on the future. In 2019, we debuted the KB Home ProjeKt: Where Tomorrow Lives at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. This fully immersive, full-scale experience was built to inspire homebuyers and our industry to reimagine the American home.
ProjeKt began with a simple operating principle: collaboration. We brought together key strategic partners from the architecture, building sciences, and technology fields to examine the significant social and technological shifts we are undergoing today. One of the key shifts we are witnessing is the focus on building a healthier home.
ProjeKt was purpose-built to be a healthier home, with design features and construction materials guided by U.S. EPA’s Indoor airPLUS standard. These are enhanced by the DARWIN™ Home Wellness Intelligence Network: an integrated system of proprietary software, wellness algorithms, and sensor technologies. Air quality sensors throughout the home intuitively recognize when air quality drops below preset levels and automatically triggers the air purification system to remediate air in that zone. In addition, DARWIN’S water filtration solutions remediate water quality issues at all water sources in the home.
The DARWIN dashboard works with Google and delivers real-time wellness data for the home, and can be accessed and controlled from a smartphone app or tablet. The innovations designed and built into ProjeKt are not solely a vision of an idealized future. They are the result of our collaborative examination of the emerging macro trends that are already beginning to impact our lives. ProjeKt serves as our vision for the home of the future—a home that supports the well-being of both the environment and its residents.
In the spirit of our Built on Relationships philosophy, we will continue collaborating with our homebuyers, helping them determine their specific needs, and crafting smart home solutions that are meaningful to them and the lives they live today. We will also continue to collaborate with like-minded industry partners to anticipate future developments that will fundamentally change the way people interact with their homes.
We believe that smart homes will evolve to become thinking homes that will learn our habits and anticipate our needs and actions, simplifying our lives. As the home of the future evolves, so will we.
Dan Bridleman is Senior Vice President, Sustainability, Technology and Strategic Sourcing for KB Home. Bridleman leads the homebuilder’s extensive sustainability initiatives, maintains partnerships with some of the country’s top companies to supply the business, and effectively manages the company’s IT to support operations and enhance customer service. For more information, please visit www.kbhome.com.