Futuristic ‘smart homes’ to be a reality soon

Amid the Republic’s Smart Nation drive, a developer here has teamed up with technology giant Samsung to build future “smart homes” which will, among other things, recognise owners’ lifestyle patterns.

For example, owners would be greeted by lights that are turned on automatically and the whirling sound of the coffee machine when they wake up.

On Wednesday (Feb 25), Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group and Samsung Asia signed a memorandum of understanding to integrate smart living technology into property developments. The first project under the collaboration will be an executive condominium (EC) to be launched in Sembawang next year.

However, given the current limits to technology, the initial focus would be on providing the infrastructure for existing technology that allows, for example, washing machines and vacuum cleaners to be operated remotely from mobile devices.

The collaboration will also benefit some owners under the developer’s portfolio of residential properties. Owners of developments that will be getting the Temporary Occupation Permit from this year – such as the Waterbay EC, as well as the Riversound Residence and River Isles – can buy Samsung appliances at preferential rates.

Details will be announced next month.

Mr Andy Sim, general manager of Enterprise Business for Samsung Asia, said: “This collaboration comes as a natural fit. Both Samsung and Qingjian are committed to the Smart Nation initiative and we are thrilled to start at the heart of any nation – with its people and their homes.”

Mr Donald Ng, head of sales and marketing for Qingjian Realty (South Pacific), added: “The technology may not be fully ready right now for such a seamless integration, but nothing is impossible with technology. We believe the concerted efforts through the Smart Nation blueprint and consumer electronics companies can make this a reality.”

Property analysts TODAY spoke to welcomed the partnership, adding that the Sembawang EC could offer something different as a result of the collaboration in a saturated EC market.

Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director of research and consultancy at SLP International Property Consultants, said: “I guess this is a good selling point. It is useful especially for busy working adults or those without maids… to make their lives better.”

Mr Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA, noted that the idea of smart homes was first mooted about a decade ago. However, given that the cost of technology has decreased, such homes can now become a reality.

Still, the analysts noted that smart homes would likely command a premium over regular units. Qingjian said it was unable to give an estimate of the pricing of such future developments, as it would depend on the state of the property market at the time of the launches.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 26 Feb 2015

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