Builders constructing today’s homes likely recognize the connected home is becoming more popular among buyers. The challenge is with so many different devices and constantly evolving technology, building a home with the right systems can be challenging.

This is where standards and protocols often can come into play. Selecting products that are built on a certain standard often means the product will be interoperable with other products from different manufacturers that are built on the same standard.

One organization that focuses on standards for the connected home is the ZigBee Alliance,, which helps drive adoption of the ZigBee standard for use in both residential and commercial automation products.

As one example, the ZigBee Alliance announced it has completed testing and development of 920IP, which is an update to ZigBee IP. The members have been developing this in response to a designation by Japan’s MIC (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) for use in the endorsement of ECHONET Lite as a smart-home standard. 920IP provides specific support for ECHONET Lite and meets the requirements of Japanese HEMS (home energy management solutions).

The ZigBee Alliance will also soon announce an extension of the ZigBee Certified program to certify end products for ECHONET Lite devices using 920IP.

For homebuilders, understanding a standard such as this one and others can make selecting the right products a little bit easier. Selecting multiple products built on the same standard means the technology will be interoperable within the home.

Another option for builders is to select the latest connected appliances that are pushing connectivity forward in the home. One new connected product on the market comes from trutankless,, Scottsdale, Ariz., which is a division of Bollente Companies,, Scottsdale, Ariz.

The company recently launched MYtankless, which is a customizable online control panel for its line of smart-electric water heaters for both commercial and residential use. With this technology, the homeowner will be able to receive realtime status reports, adjust unit temperature settings, view up to three years of water usage data, and change notification settings from anywhere in the world.

What’s more, with this technology service professionals can also use the dashboard to monitor system status on every unit they install, allowing them to proactively contact customers when service is needed.

For residential homebuilders, this is a system that will give homebuyers a high-tech home, while also allowing for ongoing long-term maintenance that is easy to manage.