By Jeff Galea.
When you shop for a car, you take for granted that certain things are included: a motor, wheels, anti-lock or even automatic braking, head and interior lights, windshield wipers, cruise control, rear camera, keyless entry, security, heating/cooling, a music system, maybe navigation, and a control system with a touchscreen. Pretty much all that’s left for you to choose is the style of vehicle – sedan, sports car, SUV, minivan, truck – its color, and other personalized or luxurious touches.
But when it comes to your home, all you expect to get are what is known as the three infrastructure pillars:
- Mechanical – Heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and exhaust
- Electrical – High voltage wiring, switches, AC outlets
- Plumbing – Pipes for hot and cold water, waste disposal, irrigation
Slowly but surely, however, Information Technology (IT) – communication, networking, security, entertainment, and control systems – has become as essential as AC, water, and power to modern existence. It has quickly evolved into the fourth foundational home infrastructure pillar.
Yet even though we’re living in the third decade of the 21st century, IT is not generally understood as an integral part of the foundation of a home as much as the other three pillars. Instead of expecting Information Technology to be as much as an integral part of our home’s infrastructure as heating, power, and sinks with faucets, we are forced to assemble individual IT pieces – internet service, Wi-Fi, video doorbells, security cameras, burglary alarms, smoke detectors, CO detectors, leak sensors, LED lighting, smart thermostats, climate control and monitoring, TVs for different rooms, audio systems, motorized shades or drapes, garage door openers, et al – on an ad hoc basis.
As a result of this patchwork DIY (Do It Yourself) IT cacophony, it should come as no surprise when our devices not only don’t work together as expected or necessary, fail after an over-the-air update of one thing or another, or simply don’t work at all.
Like mechanical, electrical, and plumbing infrastructure, we at Boca Tech want you to rethink how integral Information Technology is to your home, and how, both, essential and luxury technologies can improve the safety and quality of life for you, your family, and your guests.
Boca Tech believes your home’s IT needs should be thoughtfully designed and professionally installed – not only so your entire home’s infrastructure works as required, but so it is able to grow and adapt with your evolving needs, providing high levels of comfort, safety, and security along the way.
Start With Networking
Information Technology starts with a reliable and expandable networking infrastructure. You can’t work, learn, shop, feel secure, be entertained, or just plain live, without the right networking infrastructure. Like starting with properly engineered water pipes or high-voltage electrical wiring, properly engineered low-voltage wiring, coupled with the right networking solution, provides a reliable backbone for all IT necessities. This provides the foundational bedrock that you will rely upon every day for common activities such as connecting to the Web, conducting video work or personal calls, answering your doorbell, streaming movies, arming your security system, managing climate control, etc.
The right networking infrastructure not only provides internet and Wi-Fi connectivity but enables sensors and control points around your home, such as wall-mounted screens or keypads, to operate effectively. The right networking solution also enables complete monitoring and control of not only the devices that comprise your IT infrastructure but monitoring and control of the other three infrastructure pillars as well.
The Evolving Home
Your IT infrastructure should not be designed just to satisfy your current needs but designed to evolve over time to meet the ever-changing needs of you and your family.
For instance, you may have a room that starts as a nursery with a camera and a baby monitor; over time, that nursery becomes a kid’s room with a TV on the wall, then the kid’s room eventually becomes the guest room or in-law suite.
A home with an IT infrastructure designed to evolve and adapt to new needs also makes the home more valuable. Just like inspecting for building code compliance and life/safety issues, savvy buyers are hiring low-voltage experts to evaluate the technology backbone before purchasing a home. Two homes may look alike, but one with a solid IT infrastructure will be more valuable than an identical home without.
A home will age, of course, but one with a well-designed and flexible IT infrastructure can adapt to evolving needs and take advantage of emerging technologies along the way. Your home will be worth more, you and your family will be more comfortable, as well as safer while you are living in it.
By Jeff Galea– Jeff is BTA’s CEO and Founder with an insatiable passion for high-end electronics and control software.