Homes To Be Re-Engineered Post COVID- Smart Homes

  • Homes To Be Re-Engineered
    16Jul 2020

    Across real estate companies and the architect fraternity, the ‘new normal’ defined through the prism of social distancing as also safety and security scenarios is resulting in a need to go back to the drawing board, to reinvent the residential real estate product by factoring in new-age designing, efficiency and innovation. As the redesign happens, the need for a totally new set of amenities has resurfaced and gained prominence. What the customer will need in the ‘new normal’ has undergone a revolution in the crisis triggered by the pandemic, and it is leading to a paradigm shift in residential and work spaces.

    Perhaps this is an apt example of constructive thought - among the ‘positives’ that humankind has gained from the COVID-19 pandemic is the speeding up of various processes which had obvious gains, but were being implemented slowly. One of these is the aspect of a ‘smart home’ or a ‘smart office’ – and in the ‘new normal’ post COVID-19, it goes beyond just aspects that are brought in just for the ‘show-off’ aspect. Put very simply, now it is not about efficiency or smart usage – like smart options of switching on of a luminaire or a HVAC, but the practical reality of ensuring less instances of touching - if not doing away altogether - of switches, to switch on any appliance.

    In the luxury residential real estate and offices segment, there were offerings of voice controlled or motion sensor-controlled switching options. In the post COVID-19 world, these will become an essential aspect of a smart property, be it a home or an office – and it does not end just here, it goes on to remote location switching options leveraging a mobile phone. From a time when a home in the luxury segment offered the option of being able to switch on the air conditioner in your bedroom from your mobile phone, while you were a half hour away from home, the ‘smart home and office’ in the post COVID-19 world will offer this option for practically all major smart appliances and smart white goods within the smart property.

    In terms of safety and security in smart properties, we will have access controlled by RFID/ smart cards; social distancing will be factored in entrances being accessed with safety mandated gaps between individuals. Play areas and relaxation spaces will be created with specific markings denoting the distancing necessary; interaction with security personnel will be digital or with a safety screen separating the visitor from the security person. Automation will take many different forms, for example, measuring temperature of each individual entering a property without any human interface; the shifting of elevator buttons from hand level to the lower level which can be selected by pressing foot -which would have been automatically sanitized as you entered the property. The demands arising out of pandemic lifestyle are panning out to be the new normal home buying trend. The smart property will be one wherein the customer will demand blend of customized goods and amenities to suit the structure of their family or businesses.

    The new age property will have a wireless-enabled environment and will be powered by reliable and scalable internet connectivity on Fiber (FTTH). We will see smart TVs offering OTT (over-the-top) media service, a streaming media service offered directly to viewers via the Internet. Also, desktop will offer video conferencing solutions (ZOOM, GOOGLE Meet, Go To Meeting, etc.) We will see light management, curtain controls, automation based on mobile phones as also voice-based (Google Home, Microsoft etc.) as also smart energy monitoring. IOT based device management will power predictive and preventive breakdown of the appliances, while a video-based visitor management system will also offer Video Analytics, with IP-based video and audio solutions for safety, security and communication. Driving out? Your vehicle will be safely parked with the automated parking management system. Also, the growing importance of the common electric vehicle charging system in the society as renewable energy is next in power.

    The real estate industry is taking cognizance of these and other factors as it redesigns the ‘smart property’. The basics will remain, but living in the ‘new normal’ means the smart property needs to be re- engineered to meet the requirements of the different set of homebuyers / office buyers, keeping in mind their choices and convenience. The smart property is here to stay – and will be available to the smart buyer – soon!

    Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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