Today, it takes more than the latest and greatest designs to differentiate one home from another. Even with a beautiful design, architects do not need to be reminded that the housing market is going through a difficult period with prices down 5% nationally (1). This means there’s an increasing pressure to ensure that the architecture and design of a home is differentiated, not just by look and feel, but by experience, whether it be new build or renovation.
In terms of differentiation, a great starting point is home automation, as 24% of homes in Australia currently have some type of automation and by 2023 it will be over 40% (2). The implication is that, if the property in Australia does not have some type of automation, it will not be differentiated enough and if it does not have it in the future, which will make the home inherently more difficult to lease or sell in the future.
Typically, home owners start with lighting control when they look at home automation. Later, they may move onto air conditioning and security/CCTV, but lighting and power is where they start because results in immediate improvements in living experience. For example, rather than having to flick multiple switches a simple ‘Good Morning’ command might raise the blinds, switch on the lights as well as the local radio station. Similarly, a ‘Goodbye’ command can switch off not just the lights, but all standby power thus reducing the power bill.
The challenge is that most home automation solutions on the market are not designed for the mass market and are not particularly attractive from an aesthetic perspective. Architects and home owners need a product that fits with the interior of their home, no matter the design, whilst providing an immersive home experience.
This is where Quantify Technology have hit it out of the park. Quantify are an ASX-listed company that produce dimmers, switches, power points and blind controllers designed for mass market deployment. The tailored devices not only suit the needs of architects, but also the electrician, developer and home owner.
The glass fascia has a clean and refined design, adding a premium, bespoke feel to any home. Moreover, the devices work like a normal switch via touch or they can be controlled via an app and via voice-control through a device like Amazon’s Alexa Dot.
Quantify devices are simple. They take an electrician fifteen minutes to install versus an hour for the major competitors. The company have done this by removing pucks and gateways to ensure that the smarts are downloaded via the cloud, just as they are with an iPhone. This means that it is the same amount of work to configure one apartment as one hundred.
Secondly, they are innovative. The company has a patented-modular design that puts power back into the hands of the home owner. If the owner decides to redecorate in the future, a fascia or trim ring on a device can be changed to a new colour to suit the interiors, without an electrician. Similarly, if the home owner wants to move from Wi-Fi to 5G, it simply involves replacing a card within the devices.
Finally, they have been designed to be limitless. Being hosted in the cloud means they can scale to millions of devices without affecting performance. Moreover, rather than being proprietary, the company has thrown open its cloud platform, so any building management software can integrate with it.
The price? A typical package of 12-15 dimmers and switches for a two-bedroom apartment is a few thousand dollars with Quantify Technology, rather than the tens of thousands that are required for older systems.
According to Amazon Alexa Smart Properties’ senior business development manager, who recently joined Quantify for a series of events in Perth and Sydney in February, his clients in the US are finding smart home automation can add $50,000 to property values and 5% to rentals. For Quantify, that represents a great return on investment in a difficult market, especially with home owners expecting some type of automation these days.
Selecting a home automation vendor is no easy feat, so here’s some key questions to ask retailers when you make a comparison:
· How difficult is it to install and do my installers require special training?
· How is the product configured and what are the typical costs?
· Does it integrate with Amazon Alexa and/or Google Home?
· Is it retro-fitable?
· Who has the designs and can the home owner have access to them?
· Will the system still work if the internet goes down?
Quantify Technology have something fresh, that won’t just meet the needs of the architect, electrician, developer and home owner, but it will differentiate a design like no other home automation system. Sounds like a home run to us!