The F Word: Going “Water Pipe-Less”, Notes From an Old RF Dog


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    CE Pro’s Julie Jacobson recently noted that a large national builder is planning on building “WiFi Certified” structures then eliminating the technology cabling.

    That cabling is the signal infrastructure that enables most entertainment and communication benefits that buyers expect in today’s buildings.

    Hey, they are doing this to save a couple of bucks per square foot.

    Not that what they were offering was much anyway, most of the homes we’ve seen with “technology wire” needed just as much new wire as one without.

    No, our problem is that the builder is sending the wrong message, creating a dangerous message and that everything is going “wireless”… Most still have to ensure that structures need wire to make things stable, and perfume well.

    Look – No way to say this nicely to those builders – Stop being asinine.

    Or idiotic, they are being stupid, we all know they are using that statement as an excuse to cut costs out of the product.

    Then this particular builder had the stones to gin up a press release to pat themselves on the back.

    How much are builders actually spending on technology wire per square foot now? A couple of bucks?

    C’mon man – don’t leave the buyer expecting benefits they will not experience.

    Ask yourself: Are products, and the need for them to interact with each other getting less or more complex?

    Let’s explore that concept. Spraying RF all over a neighborhood, RF that is supposedly delivering “4K & HDR” on multiple devices (at the same time) in each home. Done in an arena where homebuilders are shoe-horning 12 – 15 homes into a single acre is the plan.

    What could go wrong?

    To an RF guy, this is a lot like a builder is telling me to go “water-pipe-less” on the water system. Sure I can wash dishes from a sprinkler head 20 meters out, but why would I ever want too? No the only place one would go “pipe-less” is from the bottom of the facet to the top or surface of glass or pot we’re trying to wash in the last tiny fraction of the system…

    So just about everyone within reach of this medium (Napco, Weld, and Fword watchers, each would resonate with this perspective. So, the question is, what should we do about it?

    First, if you have any influence with builders that you work with, please use as much pressure and persuasion as possible, without offense, and move them away from this viewpoint, without losing the gig.

    The fallback position, if that is falling flat, could be to offer a technology upgrade wire package.

    We really don’t think that this will catch on, and, this current builder will not continue this practice long term. But we as an industry would be negligent if we do not have a conversation prepared for unwary buyers. This could include some signal distribution theory basics.

    Now could be a good time to get a bit geeky with them.

    Talk about how there no scientific argument that ever could be made how a display or data device becomes more accurate to the source when increasing the distance and elimination of the cable between the two.

    Also if the distance is wireless, the potential of noise and data error rises logarithmically, not to mention that 95% of all data breaches happen in wireless environments. No matter what, this dear builder has placed a bump in our road, and we can make this into an integration opportunity. And never ever heard anyone say “Damn, I think over wire my house.”