Smart Home Technology has boomed over the past years, with a rapid climb in popularity with devices that allow consumers to control their lights, play music, and even change the temperature within their homes. Amazon Alexa and Google Home were all the rage this year, but what’s next? What effect will COVID-19 have on this trend? Is having a Smart Home the way to having a safer home post-COVID?
When Covid-19 hit Canada, there was sudden importance to minimize the transference of germs as people were working from home and the role home technology can play in this is of upmost importance. "A smarter home can be a safer home," Jonathan Collins said, research director at ABI. Pre-pandemic we already saw the average homeowner begin to embrace smart home technology with the Amazon Alexa and Google Home boom, and it was predicted pre-pandemic the number of smart homes in Canada would reach 24.4% in 2020 and 38.7% by 2023. The effects COVID-19 will have on these figures is unknown, but it is highly probable that it will exponentially increase the rate of market penetration.
COVID-19 recommendations have placed an emphasis on cleanliness and minimizing touch surfaces, which lends itself well to the implementation of Smart Home Devices throughout condo buildings. In countries such as South Korea, these types of technology have already been fully integrated in suites: you can open curtains with the wave of a hand, have lights automatically adjust when you enter a room or have your door open through face recognition. A great example of this is the Raeimen IoT Home Labs; a technology they are implementing in their apartment/condo complexes. The “IoT HomeLab connects electronic products such as air conditioners, automatic massagers and speakers with wireless internet-based cloud system and analyzes the residents’ data” and uses this to optimize all functionalities in the space.
The evolving use of smart home technologies in condos has also been impacted by people increasingly working from home and interacting in the home more often. Devices such as smart thermostats connected to security systems, parcel delivery from the condo building to the suite, digital door locks and much more will be the new future standard for condominium buildings.
Both Smart Home technology and COVID-19 have undoubtedly changed the way people live their day-to-day lives. These new changes to consumer needs can also lead to a multitude of changes in developer offerings in pre-construction builds, for example a Smart Home Finishes package as part of suite upgrades. As the pandemic comes to an end and the aftermath ensues, we know for sure that smart home technology will be more advanced and intuitive than ever.