In this crummy economy, one consumer good is still selling strong: home electronics. Homeowners are staying indoors in style - investing in big-screen TVs, surround sound-systems, video game systems, home automation and other technological domestic wonders.
Maybe you've heard of the '90s buzz phrase, "cocooning" during the last recession? It was used to describe the tendencies of people to stay home and burrow in with their loved ones, "toys" and other creature comforts.
Today's recessionary buzz phrase that continues the cocooning-at-home trend is "techorating." It refers to rigging out your digs with the latest and greatest in technologies that transform how you play video games, watch TV and movies, control your lighting and heating/cooling systems.
Toys for Grown Boys, Girls Nesting at Home
- Home Theatre: can cost up to $25,000 for Cineplex-sized projection screen, surround-sound system and rows of leather-lounger seating.
- Got a small room? Wall-mount a flat screen TV.
To take advantage of the 'technorating' trend, consumer electronics companies have started hiring interior decorators "to help bridge the treacherous rift between home design and custom electronics." For example, LG Electronics and "Trading Spaces" celebrity Doug Wilson as its "techorator" consultant.
Wilson looks at things like "install aesthetics" when it comes to placing a TV, computer, sound or lighting system, and more.
Condos with Car Plug-ins
A sales representative with CENTURY 21 Canada recently wrote about a cool home technology feature that focuses more on functionality and environmental friendless than home 'toys."
Dan Zlindra, of Century 21 In Town Realty, in Vancouver, BC writes: "Concord Pacific, with their upcoming development of Cosmo at Georgia and Beatty (Sts.), will have the first building in Canada to offer 220V homes for electric vehicles. According to the Vancouver Sun, Concord has also stated that all of their future downtown towers will have plug-in capability."
Lining up for the 'Dream Home'
A centrepiece of this Spring's National Home Showwas the walk-through Dream Home on the show floor. Every day, visitors waited patiently in hour-long lineups to get into the tricked-out house designer showcase. And prominently featured in each room were automated home controls, including wall-mounted touchscreens to set your preferred music, temperature, lighting and more.
Of course, that humble display of 'techorating' was nothing compared to the 50,000-square-foot mansion of the King of Technology. Bill Gates carries his atmospheric controls from room to room in the head of a pin - a microchip at his palace overlooking Lake Washington WA.
Over-techorate at Your Own Peril
But beware of overdoing it with the home theatre, etc. If you customize your house too much, you may risk narrowing your market when it comes time to sell your techno-castle! One man's must-have home automation could be the future residents' overkill!
How have you "techorated" your home lately? We'd like to know; leave your comments below.