REALTY+ MASTERCLASS WEBINAR
SMART HOMES ARE THE NEW NORMAL
AT THE RECENTLY HELD REALTY+ MASTERCLASS WEBINAR IN ASSOCIATION WITH HAVELLS INDIA, THE EXPERTS DISCUSSED THE LATEST TRENDS IN HOME AUTOMATION AND THE NEW WAY OF LIVING.
In the post COVID world, smart systems that enhance touch less operations are increasingly being favoured by homeowners. Ar. Prem Nath, Founder, Premnath Associates shared his own experience, “I have recently renovated my own home and updated it with all the smart features. In fact, tech equipped homes are common in western countries and are now increasingly getting popular in India. There the homes are also connected with local authorities for help in case of an emergency which is still lacking here. I believe real estate as a whole needs to be more proactive in providing holistic technology not only for convenience but also for occupant’s safety & security, and efficient use of resources enhancing sustainability of the project.”
Highlighting the trend during pandemic, Bobby Mukherjee, Founder & Principal, Bobby Mukherji & Associates stated, “Majority of the population seems to have adapted quite well to the new normal of working from home and spending a lot more time at home. In this perspective, the house has become extremely important in terms of the space and amenities that it can provide. Technologies that can offer contact less operations of frequent touch points are being most favoured for hygiene purposes.”
DESIGNING FOR SMART LIVING
The word ‘Smart’ itself has changed in meaning over the past ten years, as new technologies emerge boasting even more features that help us manage and maintain our lives on a daily basis. Hari Easwaran, Vice President and Head Contracts & Procurement, L&T Realty shared, “The smart housing can be seen in two ways either being tech savvy to operate automation controls or using advanced systems like facial recognition and biometrics, that does away with the need of using tech controls. Till now, security, convenience and entertainment were the main components of smart homes, but in times of Covid we have seen assisted living for senior citizens becoming an important consideration.”
Sarvdeep Basur, Principal, Lucent Worldwide added, “When it comes to automation, imagination is the limit in a home. Apart from the solutions such as pre-set controls for sprinklers to water the gardens, feed the pet etc, there are software avail abler to monitor senior citizens daily activity and raise alarm in case of a disruption in normal routine. Technology like this within the home is now becoming a necessity. To enhance such technologies what we need to do is work together and customise required solutions.”
Linus Lopez, Partner, Lirio Lopez Electrical + Lighting Design Consultants added, “One of the key rules as a designer is – Ask the right questions. The term ‘smart’ can be used in a lot of different ways. It is a need based industry and as the end-user’s needs change the designer needs to keep in sync with those demands. Today, we are in an era where we have the information, but we are forgetting to consider the human needs and the need to save resources. The pandemic has further emphasized on these points as well as the health and wellbeing while considering making homes – Smart.”
As we see more people staying at home and work from home, there will be more adoption of IoT technology. To allay rising consumer concerns around data security and privacy, developing an industry standard would be essential to address risks and to also bring a baseline level of comfort to consumers. At the very least, companies need to embed security into devices.
SMART HOME SOLUTIONS
The real estate industry has plenty of opportunities to embrace smart solutions to influence not only the ambience, but also the function of a home Praveen Thampi, Creative Director, The Ministry Of Light elaborated, “From lighting point of view, latest home automation systems offer ambience, functionality and energy efficiency. Correct lighting that is closer to natural light also affects our mood and gives a sense of wellbeing. The physiological aspects have now become more important. In addition lighting is also being used as a disinfectant. However, the main emphasis should always be on simplifying technology for the end user to operate.”
Vivek Yadav, Senior Vice President, Havells India Limited concluded, “Till now, associated with luxury homes, the ‘Smart home‘is getting mainstream. The home automation market has transformed over the years with the products getting more and more affordable. Also, there are wireless solutions available to retrofit existing conventional home and turn them into a smart home without digging into walls for wiring. Many new system also work independent of Wi-Fi and give an option of operating manually, if need be. Most importantly, the Indian products are at par with international products, at much lesser the cost for the homeowner.”