What are “residential technologies” these days? One example is technology that provides access to the house, which could mean anything from a garage door remote to a full smart home solution, which allows you to secure your entire property with a single click or voice command. This article will attempt to take a more pragmatic approach to residential technology, based on the functionality you want in a home. Future articles will look more specifically at security, audiovisual, smart home gadgets, the IoT home and wiring. 

The best way to approach the use of residential technologies is to consider what functionality the residents of the home require.

A good starting point is using the “Home Wiring Essentials”. The home wiring essentials list includes the following functional elements:

Age & assisted living
  • Safety alerts (falls, no activity, abnormal use of appliance, etc)
  • Security – protection against intruders – includes panic buttons etc
Appliances
  • Monitoring all major appliances, from the hot water system to refrigeration and washing machine
  • Smart grid interoperability
  • Demand response
Electric vehicle charging
  • Charging of Electric Vehicles (EVs)
  • Smart grid interoperability
  • Demand response
  • Monitoring power use (specific to charging of EVs)
Energy management
  • Monitoring power usage of major appliances such hot water systems, air conditioners, pool pumps, refrigeration, EES and solar systems
  • Implement economic cable sizing to all major appliances
Entertainment
  • Distributed audio and video
  • Free-to-air TV and high definition (HDTV) content
  • Home theatre
  • Pay TV
EES systems (battery)
  • Electrical energy storage systems (batteries)
  • Charging/discharging of batteries
  • Smart grid interoperability
  • Demand response
  • Monitor power use (specific to batteries)
Information & communications
  • Internet access
  • Home video conferencing
  • Intercoms
  • Telephony
Intelligent light and power
  • Control a range of systems in the lived-in environment to improve amenity and sustainability through the integration of lighting, power, communications and monitoring
Security and safety
  • Automatic access control
  • Electronic monitoring
  • Fire safety
Solar
  • Use of rooftop solar (PV)
  • Smart grid interoperability
  • Monitor power use (specific to PV)

Figure 3 functional elements to help plan the deployment of residential technology 

You can use the functional elements in the Home Wiring Essentials to start a conversation with your customer, learning what functions they desire and then build a technology solution for them. 

Discover more information about how to develop solutions by accessing the three documents that make up the Home Wiring Essentials. These can be found  by clicking the button below.