Pacesetter Homes in Edmonton and Home Otto have partnered to bring home automation to all of Pacesetter’s new homes.

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Davis Hodgins has developed an integrated home automation system that eases the challenges of installation and makes the whole process simpler for homeowners to operate.

Pacesetter Homes in Edmonton liked what he had to say about the seamless blending of smart home technology and homebuilding, and has made the system part of its standard specifications in all homes in Edmonton and area.

Called Home Otto, the technology developed by the Edmonton-based company uses a home’s blueprint to program the system.

By programming this way, the system understands the home on a deep structural level.

“It knows where the rooms are, where the windows are, and where devices are installed,” Hodgins says.

It is accessible by a single smartphone app which allows homeowners to program their system, monitor the home, and get support and upgrades directly from Home Otto.

“This allows the homeowner to download the app and start using it. No complicated setup, naming devices, or trying to get different manufacturers’ products to work together,” he adds.

Sandra Young, vice-president of Pacesetter Homes, says smart home technology is one of the “most desirable add-ons” for homes, and that using Home Otto made sense because it uses blueprints to design the system.

“Considering the technology is in the design phase enables additional security features and the ability for future expansion and upgrades. This aligns with our vision to create a home-buying experience that exceeds our customers’ expectations,” says Young.

The automation system will be used in the 500 homes Pacesetter estimates it will build this year in 34 communities in the Greater Edmonton Area in all prices ranges and housing types. The system is included in the price of the home.

Hodgins says the ease in using the system is one of the benefits of the blueprint-styled technology, adding that when people move into their Pacesetter home, without programming or setting anything up, they can control the lights, locks, and thermostat from their smartphone to help reduce energy consumption and protect their home.

Today’s lifestyle is tied strongly to energy-efficient, healthy, sustainable housing that reduces the carbon footprint while trimming utility costs, says Hodgins.

“Our home-and-away function doesn’t blindly follow a schedule when it detects you’ve left the house. It turns the lights off, reduces the temperature, and monitors for suspicious activity. Every little bit helps reduce energy bills and help the environment,” he says.

“Pacesetter has been working with Home Otto for about a year to ensure the specifications and user experience were simple and seamless. Technology should be invisible and just work,” says Young.

Another element in the simplicity of the Home Otto technology is that it allows homeowners to add switches, cameras, and other devices to allow for lifestyle changes, she adds.

Adds Hodgins: “The deep-level integration allows us to do things now and in the future that are impossible with off-the-shelf after-market systems.”

As the supplier, Home Otto was able to get on board early enough in the homebuilding process to ensure all components worked seamlessly with all the systems  in the home.

“We didn’t want to leave our homeowners with a series of independent devices that couldn’t communicate with each other or needed multiple apps to function,” says Young.