The Latest in Smart-Home Tech

We asked the experts to share the future of integrated technology.

Shades sliding smoothly down, music and lights dimming just right to set the evening mood, drink machines starting up — all at the flick of a switch. Once the dreamy cinematic territory of a futuristic ’60s bachelor pad, sleek smart-home technology has become de rigueur for fully decked-out houses.

“If I want my shades lower at 4 p.m., I can have them automatically come down at that time, then come back up at 6 a.m. and have the lights come on at 80 per cent intensity. You can control pretty much everything electric in your house now,” explains Luis DaSilva  of Trutone Electronics, one of the leaders in custom smart-home implementation in Ontario. “And you actually save in energy as you have better control over the temperature in your house.”

Along with environmental comfort, personal home security has also made a technological leap in the past few years. “You can have cameras set up in a way that they send you an alert when someone’s walking in a certain area of your home. You can create digital barriers, and if one is broken, it sends you an alert and a snapshot to your camera.”

But with wide-ranging capabilities come myriad brands, systems and apps, and all that effortless function can collapse into chaos and fresh headaches. According to DaSilva, that’s where it’s key to use a system like Control4 to pull controls smoothly into one single app or touchscreen panel, which engages all the different systems to talk to each other.

Trutone puts all services under its umbrella, from design to installation, so the entire process is seamless.

“Wiring your house for these types of scenarios is always a plus,” he says of new homes. Much like a solid foundation to a house, the infrastructure is key. “A home network may be sluggish and at times not responsive if it’s not set up and designed properly.”

“Technology is always changing, but I think the smart home will become the standard.” Already with the swipe of a smartphone, we can create the perfect environment. Layer on Alexa and Google, and you just need to say the word.