As technology and the lifestyles change, the world must keep up with those changes. This can mean a number of things for those that live in long-stay apartments.
Living With Tech Or Not?
Many homes and apartments are getting introduced to smart technologies. As the future fast approaches, homes are seeing the introduction of automated monitoring for ovens, bathtubs, and general heating and cooling. In addition, we can see robots that have the ability to monitor our pets as well as vacuum the floors in our homes. Technology has also enabled the customization of home decor. It is quite possible now to decorate the home with digital pictures as well as having digital butlers suggest various tailored activities.
However, have we reached the peak of possible technology? We may soon find that this digital invasion leads to a backlash. The team at House of Fisher have recently begun to see a demand for tech-free spaces that may lead to tech-free buildings in the future. We may find that face-to-face interaction becomes more of a priority as the digital world overrides every component in our daily lives.
While the overall size for an apartment seems to be smaller, consumers still expect to have the same amount of amenities, if not more. With the advent of modular and moveable apartment designs it is quite possible to have a living area, full kitchen and bedroom in just under 20 m².
The downside to modular apartment design is it can be vastly expensive. There has been no verdict on whether the benefits of modular living outweigh the complexity or the cost. However, many consumers find that a co-living model which offers simple sleeping pods with easy access to communal living space through co-working and co-living areas is a better solution.
The pressure for environmental change is only going to increase in the future through legislation and consumer demands. With this in mind, environmentally friendly materials will become more readily available. Some apartments are including carpets that convert carbon into oxygen as well as porous building materials that enable the growth of green walls and moss.
Food packaging will be nearly eliminated for grocery shopping and on-site food production. In addition, energy can be produced and stored on-site through the use of solar panels and smart windows, as well as being produced kinetically through the use of gym equipment. In time, there are going to be some aspects of our modern life that will need to be challenged as to whether they are truly essential needs – such as air-conditioning as a standard amenity in the northern hemisphere.
By the year 2020, solutions for insomnia are expected to be an $80 billion industry. Machines will have the ability to monitor sleeping patterns as well as enhance the quality of sleep through lighting and sound waves. Smart beds will be able to regulate the body’s temperature. Digital butlers will be able to send reminders to exercise, sleep, and hydrate.
However, before we get lost into this feature of technology, it is absolutely essential to remember the fundamentals that are needed for a good night’s sleep: the right mattress, the right acoustics, and the right amount of lighting.
Light and sound from technology may actually disturb your sleep patterns. A technology blackout may be a more positive solution for some consumers.
In the future, virtual reality may be more than just entertainment, as it may create a sense of place within neighbourhoods and communities. Would it be possible for virtual space to replicate a residential lounge?
It may be possible that VR will have the ability to enhance design and research. Hans Meyer, the co-founder of Zoku, has already been using virtual reality to create room prototypes with consumer groups.
Revolution Versus Evolution
As new technology becomes available it creates the opportunity for hospitality leaders around the globe to improve their products. While these will generally be embraced there is still a note that must be observed.
The industry needs to be mindful of their consumers as well as any possible backlash due to technology overload. This type of technology should only be used if it is going to enhance the overall consumer experience. Due to this, we can expect an incremental change in technology as opposed to a dramatic shift.
While there will be large innovations that move trends forward these will still be based upon small incremental changes over time.