For the 1939 World’s Fair, the president of Westinghouse, George H. Bucher, penned an article about “The Electric Home of Tomorrow.” He envisioned people using short waves to command appliances from anywhere in the home and to open the door when visitors came. Similar to Todd Lubar, he foresaw HEPA filters, air conditioning advances, and even “mood lighting.” All of those have come to pass, only the commands we issue don’t use short-wave radio. Instead, they use the computing power of our phones.
What Does a 21st-Century Smart Home Include?
Many of Mr. Bucher’s dreams are still at work in the modern home. For example, there are now doorbells that ring when people get close enough to trip motion sensors. Almost every new home has adjustable lighting, and many of those lighting systems are also computer-controlled. It’s even possible now to program your thermostat to cool your home as you return from vacation so that you come into a comfortable environment instead of a veritable hot house.
Even Mr. Bucher didn’t dream of systems where the house talks back to you. Voice activated digital assistants are the newest “in” thing. You can ask your assistant to send emails, order pizza, book a cleaning service, or even just turn on a reading lamp for you.
As we sit at our computers, we can video conference with people thousands of miles away over Skype™ and FaceTime™. Such stuff was the realm of science fiction 30 years ago. Five decades ago, Captain Kirk took something off his belt that looked a lot like a flip phone. Today, the systems in our newfangled homes and phones are hundreds of times more powerful than the systems that NASA used to put Armstrong and Aldrin on the moon.
The Gigantic Benefits for Handicapped People
People in wheelchairs used to have to have everything done for them. Now, with the aid of Smart House gadgetry, they can do much more for themselves. Instead of needing to wheel over to the thermostat, for example, someone in bed can simply tell the house to “set the temperature to 72 F.” We’ve had ramps, low cabinets, handles instead of knobs, and all manner of analog methods to boost accessibility for a long time. The prospect of letting even quadriplegic patients get around their own home themselves, however, is thrilling!
One man with quadriplegia experiences that thrill every day. His Apple home system helps him control the temperature, open and close doors, including even his garage door, and raising his home’s window shades with his teeth. Such things are mundane for the able-bodied. They’re life-changing and usefulness-affirming for handicapped people who would have had no hope as few as five years ago.
For all their innovation and promise, these inventions are in their infancy. There is still a long way to go and much more that can be accomplished than before. Part of the reason there is a ways to go is that there are certain problems with automated systems that you might not consider off the top. Take, for example, a wheelchair-bound homeowner with cerebral palsy who stutters. The person’s mind is likely sharp as a tack, but the person cannot communicate effectively. Suddenly, voice-activated doors and appliances aren’t the labor savers they seemed to be.
Of course, it’s possible for the stutterer to control everything with his or her iPad or Android device, but the convenience of voice-activation would be lost. Similarly, deaf people cannot interact with a voice-activated assistant. They would require a text interface or a video interface that created an avatar that could sign with them. By focusing on these problems, along with others related to the disabled population, the industry is certainly heading in the right direction.
The Legend of Todd Lubar
Mr. Todd Lubar is a prominent real estate professional in the Baltimore area and is confident that all homes will eventually be smart homes. Educated in Washington, D.C., New Jersey, and New York, he applies that know-how and experience to find the absolute best deals for his clients whether they’re in the Charm City or not. Mr. Lubar has tapped into the rapidly emerging market of taking disused structures in Baltimore and turning them into smart homes and other living spaces.
When compared to the nation’s capital, Baltimore has a much lower cost of living. Mr. Lubar presents this fact to his clients in an effort to save them money overall. Millennials have been taking advantage of not only Mr. Lubar’s exceptional advice but also these lower Baltimore prices.
Entrepreneurs find the city business-friendly, and young people with their own technology businesses fit right into Mr. Lubar’s vision of a world where there are only smart homes. To help his clients realize their dreams, he surrounds himself with trusted people who share his helpful vision. Currently, Mr. Lubar is the head of TDL Global Ventures LLC and the senior vice president of Legendary Investments. He stays fit and enjoys spending time with his family when he’s not at the office.