Get SMART with AR Homes®
AR Homes® Best-in-Class Home Automation System
Smart home technology has come a long way since its late 19th century origins, when renowned inventor Nikola Tesla created one of the world’s first remote controls.
Today’s smart homes enable users to manage — via a smartphone, tablet or remote wireless connection — any number of functions that enhance control, comfort and convenience. An added bonus: Smart home technology can help conserve the Earth’s limited resources by assessing and responding to real-time requirements for power, water, heating and similar resources.
In short, the term “smart home” is used to describe a residence equipped with devices that automate tasks normally handled by the home’s occupants. These devices tap into robust networking equipment to communicate with one another and can be controlled from any room in the home as well as remotely.
The possibilities are seemingly endless depending on the level of customization chosen: automation of lighting, heating, air conditioning, security camera surveillance, door locks, audio and video systems, irrigation, even motorized window blinds and shades. And the list is growing daily.
All Arthur Rutenberg homes are equipped with a standard automation package powered by the award-winning ELAN® smart home automation system, the industry’s only true single-app solution. The ELAN® system controls the same user interface on all connected devices, thereby eliminating the need to jump from one app to another.
To bring the tech magic to life is AR Homes/Marcus Allen Homes technology integration vendor partner, HabiTech Systems, whose professionals review the home’s blueprint and map out a customized plan to ensure the home has exceptional WiFi coverage for the system’s needs. They then install low-voltage wiring and strategically placed access points that serve as the system’s “antennaes.”
“The access points resemble smoke detectors, but are subtle,” says HabiTech Operations Manager Josh Sroka. “We try to be discreet about where we locate them, such as in the ceiling in the hallway, or in a closet. If we need to provide coverage in your kitchen, for example, we’d likely put it in your pantry ceiling rather than your kitchen ceiling.” On average, three access point are installed, although the number varies based on the home design and size as well as materials used in construction.
The system mothership is a panel-encased controller (most often located in the home’s laundry room) in which all of the wiring converges. “So that essentially becomes the brains of your home,” Josh notes.
When the home is nearing completion, HabiTech workers return to install equipment such as security cameras, TVs and sound systems, as well as items that need live internet. This typically occurs one day after internet connectivity has been established. They make their final visit once the homeowners are in their new home to walk them through the ELAN app download to their Smartphone and tablet(s), provide instruction on its use and answer any questions the new homeowner has. Down-the-road support is also provided to customers who have technical questions.
Unlike the automation systems available in the early 2000s, which featured complicated touch panels, systems today are simple to master, with intuitive command menus that are consistent across all types of control devices. “I’ve been in this industry for 20-something years, and have been a control system programmer for most of that time,” Josh says. “And I’m finding that, now more than ever, it’s very easy to train people on these systems, because Smartphone technology is something they use every day, all day.”
Even with the many bells and whistles available, Josh says the most popular system feature by far is the video doorbell.
“You can connect with anyone from anywhere and know when your packages have been delivered and your kids have arrived home,” he says. “With the safety and security it provides everyone, it’s a game changer.”
No matter how the system is set up, the ultimate goal of home automation is to create an environment that keeps you in-the-know and works for you instead of you doing all the heavy lifting.
And that’s just plain smart.