DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – If you are wondering what the home of the future looks like… look no further than the voice activated device nearest you. It will most-likely include SIRI or Alexa.
Last week- Amazon unveiled an Alexa- controlled microwave that can cook up your favorites with simple a voice command. It can also order popcorn for you if you run out.
But now, a new type of futuristic home that could be straight out of the Jetson’s episode. Home builder Lennar has teamed up with Amazon to build Alexa- controlled homes featuring ring doorbells to cameras, even Alexa operated blinds and vacuum cleaners. It’s all in their Amazon Experience Centers in 15 cities including Dallas. The company says it has sold 2369 home automation homes in Texas.
Each home is Wi-Fi certified which means it has no dead spots, thanks to wireless access points around the house. Lennar president David Grove took us on a tour. Simple Alexa prefix commands can lock the door, set a party atmosphere by lowering the blinds, and bringing up the lights and music. Alexa can lower the volume in case of a phone call. It can tell the robot vacuum cleaner to clean the carpets. Alexa can check on your sleeping children or who’s at the door. It can also monitor temperature.
“We have really future proofed the home,” Grove told CBS 11 News.
The smart home market is expected to reach 107 billion dollars in sales by 2023. Lennar know the future of smart home is growing, “all future technology is going to be both functional usable, applicable within your home,” Grove said. “We’ve designed the home to be compatible with whatever the next advancements are.”
CAUSE FOR PAUSE
While the advancements may appeal to the gadget geek out there some warn there are drawbacks to a set up like this. As convenient as this may be for many people, cyber security experts warn there are privacy and other security concerns that come along with the technology. For example, we still don’t know how companies are tracking consumer behaviors and how the data is being used.
There are also concerns about possible hacking of the smart home systems.
“Some of the information can be misused and also some of the devices that are remotely controlled can cause some issues,” Dr. Murat Kantarcioglu, Professor of computer science at University of Texas in Dallas said. Dr. Kantarcioglu says people should avoid having Alexa-operated devices in a private part of the house, like the bedroom. And tempting as it may seem, relying too much on technology can be dangerous. Sometimes the remotely controlled devices and activate on their own or worse, a hacker can get to them. And, what happens when the Wi-Fi goes out? Grove says should the systems fail due to Wi-Fi connectivity, the home will operate in a traditional way through manual operations.
“Each of us have to have our own comfort level with that, and again you can modify the technology however you are comfortable with that,” he said.
It may not be for everyone but experts say the smart home technology is here to stay.