Home Technology Comes of Age

For at least 20 years that I can remember, the purveyors of technology have promised us thinking, automated homes. From the ’90’s until today we have been inundated with promises of automated thermostats, self stocking refrigerators, and an easy-to-use remote control that would allow us to easily select from about a thousand channels from multiple sources. Well, the truth has been that for every new control gadget we got, there were a ballooning number of sources that required yet another gadget to control. Sure, HVAC firms have remote control thermostats, but up until recently, you had to use a separate remote to use them. Smartphones and apps have helped a lot lately- at least now you can download an app for that thermostat or toaster that could allow you some degree of control, but the universe of controllable things  has, so far, dwarfed the the solar system of controllers.  And, most of these things require some degree of technology savvy on the part of the end user, who may be required to drill through a list of FAQs on a website, or, worse, an instruction manual folded into about 7 different languages shoved into the box. All, my friends, is not lost, though. Last fall one of the industry leaders in this sort of technology, Crestron, rolled out a game changing piece called Pyng. Pyng acts as a programming hub for pieces designed to be integrated into the technological landscape it creates, and that’s a lot of things. Lighting, Audio, HVAC, security, and as we move forward, video. Crestron is the gear that’s used in robust, automated buildings such as Apple’s headquarters, or the new Goodyear World Headquarters building in Akron. Brought into the home, Crestron finally created an easy-to-build infrastructure around its wireless gear, with Pyng as a hub, so companies like our sister company K+ Audio and Integration (www.k-integration.com ) can easily retrofit homes and install nearly any subset of sources and control for the family. Want sound on your back patio? That’s no problem at all. Best, the control is as simple as an IPhone app. Crestron is not a do-it-yourself system-like any other system with a simple interface, the gear and set up behind the scenes is fairly technical and complex. But the gear is bullet-proof. It just works.


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