The Evolution of Today’s Technology
This week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Pete Pedone, the owner and founder of Interactive Home. It is always interesting to hear how people choose their professions. This interview I found extremely interesting, fun and informative especially because I particulary love electronics and basically, anything with an on off switch.
OR: How did you get started in the business?
PP: When I was a kid in the 70’s, I would take apart my parents’ radios and TV’s and put them back together again. When I was a young teen, I built my first radio and strung a 50-foot cable out my bedroom window. The nearest telephone pole acted as the antenna, and we were getting stations from all over the US. This was also during the period of CB radios. I built my first CB radio back in 1976. So needless to say, I think I found my calling at a young age.
My adoration of the disco era during the late 70’s inspired my passion for music and I became a disc jockey. I was one of the DJ pioneers of disco music and I had the great pleasure of working in some of the greatest clubs in the New York City Metropolitan area.
In the early 80’s, I began introducing and selling custom installed audio video systems into high-end homes and apartments. I began working closely with a number of manufacturers and vendors such as Lutron Electronics on beta testing new products. For example, we installed the very first Lutron home lighting control system for a very elite family in NYC. At the time, this technology was still in its early stages of development, but it allowed the home owner to control all of their lights with a press of a single button. At the time this was cutting edge.
OR: When did you start Interactive Home Design and what is the core focus of your business?
PP: Interactive Home was founded in 2000, with a mission to simplify people’s homes and lives by using the latest cutting edge technology.
OR: What are some of the services Interactive Home provides?
PP: Interactive Home is a full service company that designs, installs and services all home automation systems. Interactive Home systems include multi-room music and video, lighting control, motorized drapery and shades, security cameras and home networks. Our primary service is to deliver a centralized control system that communicates to all systems in the home.
OR: How many people do you employ at Interactive Home?
PP: We employ 12 of the most talented people in their respective fields.
OR: Where do you see the future of technology going?
PP: The future is wireless technology with the use of voice integration. Companies today have banned together with groups such as the Z Wave Alliance, allowing their products to communicate with one another all on a single platform. The Z Wave Alliance is a global alliance where companies from all over the world are participating. For example,
pressing a single button on a Creston Keypad will send out a unified command to drop the Lutron shades, turn on the Sonos music and send the Nest thermostat to a predefined temperature. The same unified platform will allow the home owner to control the; garage door, lights, thermostat and music all from a single application and mobile device. This is the same platform that allows your refrigerator to email you when you’re out of milk.
OR: Let’s talk about the younger generation and their obsession for electronics. Some see this as a deterrent. Thoughts?
PP: I don’t see it as a deterrent. The older generation needs to embrace today’s technology and help the younger generation become more educated with its opportune usage. All generations whether it was my parent’s generation, my generation or our children’s generation, had some form of obsession with that era’s technology. My grandfather’s generation was all about the AM radio. Every kid was glued to the radio every night of the week, families gathered around the radio for the latest information and entertainment. With my father’s generation, it was about the television. Young and old were obsessed in every household and had to have one. With our generation, it was the introduction of computer technology and the first mobile products. Computers became the mainstay of how we live and work. They became an essential part of our lives.
Today’s generation, now has the ability to take the past three generations’ technology and put it into the palm of their hands. Similarly, today’s technology has been embraced by the world. It has made communication to the other side of the world as simple as an email or as current as a post on social media. In fact, technology has made our children smarter, more informed and more responsible at a much younger age. Some people say that today’s technology is killing the family circle and how relatives communicate with one another. However, I personally disagree. While the way families communicate today has changed from years past, technology allows us to keep abreast of what our children are doing and allows us communicate with relatives and friends around the world.
OR: Let’s talk about the cyber predators, bullies, etc. How can a parent continue to embrace this technology?
PP: Parents today need to get educated on the technology that is installed in their homes. All devices today have taken into consideration the issues that are listed. Bullying has been a problem since the beginning of time. Parents need to be more aware of who their children are interacting with. Regarding security, there are ways parents can protect their kids. Most computers, routers and wireless access points, give the end user the ability to choose what sites their children can have access to, the ability to dictate time frames to control length of use and the ability to stop unwanted responses from unknown sources. We live such a fast paced life, but it’s important we take the time to learn what’s available to help protect our family using the latest technology and that should be our utmost priority.
OR: Point of Information:
PP: Today’s biggest concern my clients are facing; is wondering if the system will be easy enough for them and their guests to use? Our primary focus at Interactive Home is to make sure that the concerns of our clients’ are addressed with easy to use and simplified technology. The introduction of VUI directly addresses this concern.
OR :Any exciting plans for Interactive Home?
PP: Interactive Home is excited about introducing the voice user interface (VUI) into our clients’ systems. This is voice user interfacing such as Amazon’s Echo featuring Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortina to control various technology components in their homes. By way of example, “Alexa, turn the kitchen lights on.” Or “Alexa, play Pandora.” Our clients love the fact that they can use their voice for control and not have to look for their remotes or iPad.
OR: Thank you for sharing your advice, tips and knowledge with us. You can check out Interactive Home NYC: http://www.interactivehomenyc.com or contact them at
PP: My pleasure!