As Amazon, Apple and Google all make major investments in smart home technology partnerships with the nation’s largest builders, BUILDER Magazine’s John McManus anticipates the future of home automation – and asks readers to think about which of the tech giants might get there first.

“Welcome to what one day soon we may think back on as the pre-evolved days of machine learning-enabled technology’s convergence with living in our homes,” McManus says. “In this primitive moment in time, devices sit on counters, or mount on the wall, or hang from ceilings… [But soon], smart home technologies and their nodes of connection with people in those homes will be integrated “inside-the-walls,” as part of the building envelope and systems, like electric, plumbing, heating and ventilation.”

McManus highlights Amazon, which recently made a $6.7 million Series A investment in housing startup, for its “friction-free access to goods and services we want or need to buy.” Apple aims to provide “trust that our digital connections, hardware devices and solutions can go on with a sense of security and well-being,” while for Google, “a fluid, constant all-direction exchange of knowledge—creating dynamic moments or platforms of value—as we carry out daily routines in our homes, is power.”

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