Summer 2007. Exactly 8 years before this blog entry. Steve Jobs introduced the world to his latest gadget, the iPhone. Tech Geeks saw the potential immediately but the electrical supply houses… not so much. It was cool and all but how would my industry use a smart phone to make money? Sure with its internet capabilities your phone now had access to pretty much all of our collective knowledge as a species. Even if we just used it to pick fights with strangers on message boards or to post pictures of our cats.

 

With so many other companies shortly lining up to launch their smart phones, there would one day truly be an “App for that”. And here we are in 2015 with a plethora of options to make life just that much easier with a tap of the finger. No longer is your phone just a means to chat with an old friend. It’s now an open portal to control most of the features in your home. And that is where our modern day supply house comes in.

 

Open network bridges have now made it possible to do most anything in your home with just Wi-Fi and an app. Want to dim your lights from your couch while watching TV? Lutron says there’s an App for that.  Did you find it a little chilly while watching that late night horror flick? Turn up the heat using a wireless thermostat. On vacation during a major snowstorm at home? Don’t wonder if your furnace went out, just check the temp on your phone.

 

If a smoke detector goes off, and no one is around to hear it, did it really do any good? Using the latest in Wi-Fi smoke and CO detectors now your devices can call or text you when there is a problem! Everything from garage doors to baby monitors can be controlled by an app. And you can purchase all the hardware to make it work at your local electrical supply house.

 

What our industry of pipe and wire hawkers once feared as a loss of business to technology has quickly turned into an exciting opportunity for add on sales. Honestly the technology has been around for decades. Rolling shutters, security cameras & diming systems et al are not new. But they were always dependent upon being hard wired to a closed system in order to be functional. With modern advances in these devices your average homeowner can pick and choose just what features they want at a fraction of the price. Most homes can be made “smart” for under $1,000.00.

 

Beyond the convenience of doing most everything from your phone lies the safety factor of being able to monitor your home’s environment while you are away. Security systems are great at reporting a problem, but today’s smart homes can actually help you prevent a problem from occurring in the first place.

 

Kevin Reed

Director of Purchasing