There was a recent television show about the newest generation of our aircraft carriers. There is empty space on the bridge for the future installation of new technologies that are under development, or even yet to be envisioned. Given the way every millimeter is typically planned for on a vessel, one can see how the concept of ever-innovative technologies is expected to be critical to the function of the ship, and must therefore be incorporated in the design.

Planning for changes in home technology can be equally difficult to anticipate in designing our spaces for longevity. In the 1980’s, installing phone outlets in every room was considered wise. In the 1990’s, extra electrical outlets were added under cabinets and along countertops to accommodate an explosion of plug-in electronics and appliances. In the 2000’s things started moving so fast that electronics were again concentrated in family areas and media rooms, with bedrooms receiving less focus. Currently, wireless and portable rule the waves for electronics and our devices of 10 years ago are already collector junk.

The current interest in remote viewing and management of lighting, temperature, and security in homes still involves wiring for devices themselves, with control available via the internet using a computer or smart phone. We have also become accustomed to expecting that our systems will need to be upgraded in just a few years time. Home builders have to keep up with evolving technologies, and there are many subcontractors providing quality design and installation services. As with any service vendor, it is important to research the qualifications of firms you are considering to perform work in your home. This is especially true if your project is small and you work with vendors directly, without the benefit of a general contractor’s scrutiny of the service providers.

Home technology can provide security and enjoyment to enhance our lifestyle. When outfitting your own aircraft carrier, it is helpful to rely on design professionals who can help evaluate the performance and cost of any devices under consideration. A professional is especially helpful if you are trying to integrate new with existing devices. If the trends of the past hold true, a life span of only a few years for electronic technologies may be a measure of reasonable service.