Smart-home innovations will not only affect the way we live, but will change how our residences look as well. A recent article by Meg White in Realtor Magazine (Technology is Changing Residential Design) focuses on the impact of smart technology on the physical design of our homes. Imagine not having to look for your keys to open your front door, or not needing shopping lists when it comes time to order groceries.
“Forward-thinking real estate builders and developers should adapt their designs to the increasingly web-enabled world,” according to IOTAS, a software company in Oregon, which helps condo and apartment builders combine a variety of smart-home products into one interface.
Utility costs are an important calculation when it comes to one’s comfort and the cost of homes. This may be the reason why wall switches could be the first place within a home where tech-driven devices may be seen. As the number of tech devices increases, the number of switches and panels needed in a home may decrease. New innovations will regulate the lighting and temperature and adjust for the settings based on changes in the environment. Chad Curry, a managing director at NAR, believes that thermostats will disappear in the next decade. The unwired Pop Home Switch from Logitech allows the user to control lights, music and more with a switch carried from anywhere in the room.
Sustainability-minded consumers that generate their own energy may wish to know what their home will look like if they install solar panels. In the past builders have minimized the sun’s exposure to prevent hot spots, but that may now change.
The need for change may also be driven by changes in consumer eating habits, especially when it comes to grocery delivery and meal preparation. With the profusion of services that deliver groceries and meal prep kits, there will be changes needed in the drop-off sites. The rise of ride-sharing and autonomous cars may alter the configuration of driveways, parking lots and entrances.
In condos as well as apartment buildings, drones and robotic concierge services may require changes to rooftops and elevators to ensure drones can land and deliver safely without disrupting the flow of normal traffic. Developers may also change the configuration and temperature controls in rooms set aside for residents’ deliveries. The old-fashioned “dumb-waiters” may be resurrected for easier flow to the various units in a building.
NEXUS, a new Seattle condo development, is incorporating high-tech communications, electronic guest passes that work with smart elevators and other innovations. They are looking to truly integrate technology rather than merely adding it to current designs.
On the other hand, owners of older buildings are trying to compete with newer buildings, and they are looking to retrofit their properties and add smart-home technology.