There has been a rise of the smart home, apartment, and condominiums. No mater which place you call your home — living arrangements in urban areas and vacation hotspots have definately become “smart.” Especially in tech, most people are willing to spare no expense to deck out their apartments, homes and condos in the latest high-tech gadgets and gizmos. If you want to jazz up your space, here’s a look at the type of technology available to turn it into a “smart” home, apartment or condominium.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
Integrated technology has a term — it’s called the Internet of Things (IoT). Connected cities and connected homes are fast becoming the way of the future. Research shows that 50 percent of renters own a virtual personal assistant (VPA) like Google Home or Amazon Echo. These devices link to other devices like your smartphone, tablet, and smart TV.
Once connected, you can play music, podcasts, videos, or search for information on the internet, all through voice command. You can also connect various parts of your home, such as the lighting, doors, and appliances, to the VPA and instruct it to switch lights on and off, turn on the TV, lock doors, and set the alarm system.
The latest home technology allows you to use your smartphone to see who’s at the front door when you’re not home. You can even take it one step further by unlocking the door to allow a handyman or contractor in to complete work while you’re away. All of this can be done remotely by the touch of a button on your smartphone.
Home automation is a rapidly growing industry. From smart thermostats that allow you to control the HVAC system remotely to smart kitchens. Smart appliances have shown steady growth since 2016, and the smart appliance market is predicted to hit $37.2 billion by 2020. Voice-activated coffee makers and refrigerator doors that display what’s inside the fridge are just the starts. Technology is already in place that can connect every kitchen appliance to a smartphone app or VPA like Google Home.
The smart kitchen of the future, with the help of artificial intelligence, will even cook meals for you. CookingPal recently launched the innovative Julia Smart Kitchen Machine that can chop, knead, weigh, mix, emulsify, and steam — all in one machine. It connects to a smart kitchen hub with over 500 preloaded recipes and can be voice-controlled via Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
Condos that feature energy-saving technology is becoming increasingly attractive to renters, especially environmentally-conscious millennials. Condominium buildings can become more eco-friendly with solar panels, green roofs with organic gardens, water tanks to collect and recycle rainwater, and a gray water system that uses the water from sinks and showers for irrigation.
To reduce energy use inside your condo, install appliances with the ENERGY STAR label, switch to low flow showerheads, upgrade to a smart HVAC thermostat, and install a water leak detection system.
Insurance companies say the majority of household insurance claims are linked to water leaks. A burst water pipe or a slow leak both result in a considerable waste of water and damage to property. Your condo insurance will cover the cost inside your condo and should water seep into a unit below yours; you will be liable for the damage to that unit as well. You can avoid a catastrophe like this altogether by installing a water leak detection system like Water Hero.
The Water Hero system will alert you to a leak and automatically shut off the water. With a system like this in place, you’ll prevent water wastage and avoid damage to your property and surrounding units. Plus, by lowering the risk of water leaks in your condo you can also lower your condo insurance rate.
A survey by Software Advice reveals that safety is one of the main deciding factors for tenants when considering an apartment to rent. Security measures like video surveillance cameras are not new but have become more advanced. Access to live footage is now literally in the palm of your hand via an app on your smartphone. You can keep an eye on your kids, pets, and the nanny remotely and in real-time.
Smart door locks have also become popular. The excitement of smart locks increased, in part, thanks to Airbnb owners who started using them to avoid the hassle of finding time to hand over keys to renters. A smart door lock uses a keypad with a number combination to unlock the door. If you’re a property owner who rents out your condo, with a smart lock, there’s no need to replace locks when tenants change. Just change the keypad code when a new tenant moves in.
Buying a condo means you’re buying into a building with several other units that are managed by a board or homeowners association. Communication, inquiries, updates, and maintenance requests can be done in one central website or intranet.
You’ll know how long building upgrades will take or why the elevator isn’t working. It also allows you to track the progress of any requests you put in for maintenance and see when the work will be carried out.
Security at the front desk also benefits from smart technology that includes facial recognition. When residents walk through the front entrance, the system analyzes their face and matches it to their name, thereby quickly confirming that they live in the building.
This type of technology is useful for new or temporary security staff who aren’t familiar with all the residents, another improvement to building security.
Condominiums are often tall buildings. In the past, when a building needed to be assessed for damage by having an envelope inspection done, it meant having a human hoisted up by an aerial lift or on swing staging to circle around the building and take photographs painstakingly.
Today, drones with mounted cameras are used to fly around a building to take photographs and collect data. Drones are the most effective way to collect data quickly, and without the risk of injury, a building inspector or engineer can suffer from a fall.
Home automation is no longer the stuff of futuristic movies. It’s a reality, and high-tech homes will soon become the norm. Smart condominiums offer comfort, convenience, extra security, and a luxurious lifestyle. Upgrading your home, apartment, or condo with smart technology also ups its value as these tech features are set to become more desirable in the property market in the future.