Local News

Futuristic Technology Makes Homes 'Smarter'

Posted August 18, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Computers are not just for e-mail and Web surfing. High-tech homeowners are able to run their houses with the touch of a button.

Jamie Sasser may not be George Jetson, but he is living in a brave new world. He wires "smart" homes -- homes that use computers to control important functions.

"People see the futuristic things from 'The Jetsons' and thank, 'Wow! That's what it's going to be like I'm going to walk in the door and speak to the front door, and it will open for me.' That's not exactly what we do, but if you want it, we could probably arrange it for you," Sasser says.

Small control computers around the house can be used to control whatever the homeowner wants -- the security system, lights, the HVAC system and the sound system.

"If you want to have a camera in the nursery to watch a sleeping baby, that's easy to do," Sasser says. "One of the channels on your TV can be the baby channel."

The house of the future is here today -- almost. Lew Rentel's new smart house is still under construction, but he is excited about Sasser's plans.

"Jamie says you can have these little Palm Pilots all over the place that will run news headlines and stock quotes," Rentel says.

He sees his new smart house as a smart investment, but he admits wanting to play with his new toys.

"It offers moving into a new house more than just moving into a new house. You're looking forward to having some fun with it," he says.

Several builders are finalizing plans to wire new developments in the Triangle with the smart technology.