Smart homes of the future (video)

Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and Lowe's want to make your home "smart." We explore what the homes of the future could look like.

The home of the future may be coming to a neighborhood near you.

A number of companies, including AT&T, Comcast, Lowe's, and Verizon are intent on making your home a smart home.

Imagine getting an alert when you leave the garage door open, or when your elderly parents fall down, or when your liquor cabinet is breached by wayward teens. Connected homes give residents the ability to remotely control thermostats, lights, and door locks through mobile devices.

The selling point is convenience; and routine.

"Every single day you get up in the morning and you leave the house," says Glenn Lurie, president of AT&T's Emerging Enterprises and Partnerships unit. "For many people that means checking if you locked the doors, did you turn the alarm on? You can do all of those things on your smartphone."

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With these platforms, home owners can answer the door from anywhere in the world, watch their pets while on vacation, even control appliances remotely.

But there is a price tag.

Home installation costs vary from $100 to $500, with monthly subscription charges from $10 to $50 -- depending on the bells and whistles. And that's not including equipment costs.

But are people actually hankering for a Jetsons-esque habitat?

Not so much, according to a recent study on smart homes by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Experts are divided on whether these connected platforms will be more popular with consumers by the year 2020 -- or whether they'll fall flat because of complexity and cost. Tech analysts noted that home owners find comfort in familiar, simple, and "dumb" systems that they're used to.

About the author

Jen Haley is a senior producer at CNET in San Francisco where she directs the news video team. She was a business news producer at CNN in New York for more than a decade and received the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship at Columbia Business School.

 

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