By Jeannette Bodnar, Martin Communications

Who remembers when granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances were the ‘must-have’ features in your new home? The evolution of technology has significantly changed home designs, and builders are listening. Today, you’ll find computer-enabled household appliances, lights, security, doorbells, the list goes on. Each room of your home is alive and communicating with you through the Internet of Things (IoT), a key component of home automation and smart homes which empower the devices in your home to operate together to help you live more comfortably.

The smart home technology market is expected to reach an estimated $112.8 billion by 2024. Our need for simplicity, personalized experiences, and, most importantly, safety and security for our family are the growth drivers for this market. Homebuyers have a direct impact on the dynamics of the smart home industry. As a matter of fact, a recent study reports that soon, over 30 million households will have fully adopted smart home technology.

Who’s buying smart homes, and how will technology evolve in the future? Millennials are apparent for their technological savvy but don’t rule out older generations — especially for smart voice technology. The convenience of voice command AI assistants – like Amazon’s Alexa has resonated with Boomers. The ‘hands-off’ benefit of these assistants makes going through the day easy.

For many builders, smart home technology is a built-in standard feature – an amenity for your home and often a competitive advantage. But, toeing the line between making it standard in homes and meeting the real-world needs of homeowners is a fine one. Buyers don’t want to be scared away by too much tech but offering simple solutions to everyday problems is a bonus. Bottom line, buyers are expecting some smart capability in their homes today. That begs the question, what’s the next step of living?