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Inside a prefab house tricked out with smart home tech

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Our Home of the Future gets its brainpower

Welcome to Season 2 of Home of the Future, a six-part video series co-produced by Curbed and The Verge that chronicles the buildout of a prefab home in Austin, Texas—designed with cutting-edge technology, sustainability, and innovation in mind. This week, we trick out our house with a host of smart home devices. Stay tuned for new video episodes on our Facebook page.

From thermostats and lights to security cameras and locks—not to mention the ever-expanding array of smart speaker hubs—the vast selection of smart home devices available today can get dizzying fast.

But the dream of the ultimate smart house, where one command center controls the entire thing, is not out of reach, especially with some professional help.

To transform our Home of the Future into a true smart home, we turned to Austin-based Smarter Homes, which specializes in customizing and maintaining home automation systems. As you’ll see in the video, the company took truckloads of smart home technology and integrated all the boxes and wires into one “super computer brain,” neatly concealed in a modern console with sleek white doors.

Here’s a sample of what’s packed inside: Two Sonos Connects, which bring streaming music to existing stereos, for indoor and outdoor audio; a modem; a Lutron hub that communicates with all of the home’s smart light switches; a Denon surround-sound receiver; and, most importantly, an RTI processor, which helps all of those devices speak the same language, bringing them onto one interface. That means you can remote control temperature, lighting, sound, and more all on one app.

But the magic of a fully tricked-out smart home really manifests itself when you set up automated shortcuts, which are function sequences that use a combination of devices. So activating a “welcome home” shortcut might pull up Netflix, turn on some lights and background music, and set the temperature to a comfortable 70 degrees Fahrenheit right when you walk through the door. This idea of creating “recipes” for smart home functions is also possible in more DIY-based approaches to home tech.

Watch Episode 3 of Home of the Future above to see how all the devices come together in our house. And check back weekly to see how we flesh it out with the latest technologies for comfort, convenience, and sustainable living.