Staying Home With Technology in Vogue, Installations on the Rise

By Steve Anderson May 08, 2014

The term “staycation” got its start in 2007, by some reports, as a bout of economic weakness swept the world from which many say we have yet to actually emerge. In a staycation, people stay at home, or only make trips of sufficiently short range that people can return home at night and sleep there. Admittedly, there are those who feel cheated by the concept of a staycation, but others are beginning to embrace it, and are bringing in fresh technology to augment a day off spent at home. Indeed, according to a new study released from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), technology at home is a bigger part of the picture than ever.

The study in question, titled the “12th Annual State of the Builder Technology Market Study,” shows off just what kind of market the built-in home technology field is having these days, and oddly enough, it's doing quite well by all available reports. The centerpiece of the study pretty much has to be that, for nearly every kind of home technology, the numbers either increased from 2012 to 2013, or at the least, remained static. Structured wiring, essentially the biggest part of a connected home, which allows for a foundation for many common home technologies, hit 78 percent of new installation, up eight percent from 2012. Following closely behind is monitored security at 47 percent, home theater systems up 32 percent, multi-room audio at 21 percent, energy management at 13 percent, and finally, home automation systems at 12 percent.

What's more, more homes are coming equipped with broadband cable access, a phenomenon that's helping to charge other points like the rise of home offices and the like. Builders are increasingly discovering that talking about the kind of technology that can be brought to a home is becoming a larger part of everyday operations—63 percent of builders say that home technology is more important now to marketing efforts than it was even just two years ago—than ever before, and that's shaking up the way builders present homebuilding options.

The interesting thing about some of these technologies is that said tech doesn't particularly need to be included from the ground up. The term “home theater”, for example, is incredibly versatile, and can be used to describe just about any combination of audio components. Complete systems can be had for under $300—minus the cost of the television, of course—that can put a home theater-style setup in any room of a house with a couple of outlets. It's not surprising that people should be finding an interest in this technology; consider the rise of streaming video. There's less of a reason to go to the movies now than there ever was; waiting a few extra months not only brings it to disc, but in some cases, to a streaming service where it can be accessed at the touch of a button and a monthly fee. Some say it's a fairly common reaction to an adverse economy; building out the home and making it a palace, then mostly staying there, is a way people look to save money. Why go out to dinner, some say, when a gourmet kitchen is at home; several equivalents to this idea can easily be raised.

Seeing people augment homes and staying at said homes more isn't really a surprise, though admittedly the numbers involved might catch some off-guard for the sheer size of same. Be it ever so humble, or so technologically advanced, there's ultimately no place like home.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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