What’s next with smart homes? – Deccan Herald

what's new Companies are now infusing more innovations in building homes that offer all age groups the ability to obtain a comfortable lifestyle.

The Indian real estate sector is witnessing a massive ongoing change and embracing technology in its full glory. From just wanting houses for the sake of shelter, we have now stepped into a transformational era, where the focal point has moved to increase the comfort of living by incorporating state-of-the-art facilities in our abodes.

The concept of ‘smart homes’ is fairly nascent, but it is one that holds the torch to the progress of the real estate sector. The need of the hour is energy-efficient, environmentally sustainable buildings, and we are seeing an increasing number of people demanding properties that help simplify their lives. The spur in innovation in modern technologies and services coupled with the busy lifestyles among urban citizens have created a need for integrated, smart homes that can be controlled

One of the many characteristics of a smart home is that they include home
networking and monitoring systems that establish a link between systems and
devices like lighting, air conditioners, phones, security cameras, audio-video
systems, computers and refrigerators. To add to this, companies are now infusing more innovations in building homes that offer all age groups the ability to obtain a comfortable lifestyle.

Reason for the rise
The biggest trigger for the rising demand of smart homes is an innate desire to feel safe in one’s property, and safeguard valuables and belongings that most of us have an emotional connection with. Perhaps, this was the idea that the builders used, to install cameras with smarter analytics and motion sensors, in addition to the devices being vandal-proof. Further, advanced thermal cameras with high definition motion sensors and facial recognition software also help residents keep their homes safe and secure, even when they are not physically around their homes. The ability to connect these third eye-type of devices to the internet comes as an icing on the cake, as residents are capable of viewing their properties from any place on the globe by using just a simple login.

Residents planning to move into these smart homes will also be able to safely use appliances, through just a switch of a button on their smartphones, laptops or televisions. There are technologies being implemented in houses that would allow heaters, window shutters, curtains, besides lights and air conditioners to be controlled automatically while features like movement and presence detectors can be used to reduce energy consumptions and electricity bills in the long run.

In addition to having a technologically-enabled home, these properties also target having increased visitor management, through controlled elevators and doors that can be opened by providing access cards.

Two-in-one advantage
Such smart homes don’t just offer technological advantages in terms of security, but go up a notch due to their ability to reduce carbon footprint of a property, amidst an increasing dialogue on reducing pollution. Several technologies are being incorporated in these ‘smart homes’ to save power through lighting, elevators and other common amenities – all in an effort to make the project environmentally sustainable, while ultimately helping residents to save money.

Some other features in these projects include rainwater harvesting systems, sewage treatment systems and organic waste convertors, all aiming to help these smart homes to be eco-friendly.

Such features are set to create homes that are not just meant for overall infrastructural development and increased standard of living in a city. They will also pave the way forward for the real estate sector. Modern home automations and smart, intelligent home systems will be at the core of offering a web-based protocol that abides by the changing requirements of customers in providing a futuristic,
scalable property.

The biggest trigger for an increased focus on such ‘smart homes’ is perhaps the government policies in place to ring in this revolution. The value that smart cities and homes can bring to our lives is intangible. From improving air quality, reducing electricity bills, to contributing to creating a city’s ecosystem that’s easy on the environment, there are benefits of creating such homes that we just cannot turn our heads away from. Moreover, with policies promoting such properties, the concept of smart homes is not just an estimate, but a fact that will see an increasing prevalence.

(The author is vice-president, head – R&D, Structures, MEP at Tata Housing)

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