Sometimes fact can be stranger than fiction.
But in a world in which UK builders, developers property purchasers and investment landlords now strive to create the ultimate in modern living, there is no limit to the levels of creativity and innovation that could soon be coming to a house near you.
Over the past 20 years, national property specialist Belvoir, which has a local office in Brighton on Western Rd, has witnessed considerable changes in the range and quality of housing stock in the rental market – particularly in new build apartments and flats aimed at the young professional sector.
“Today’s tenants are already demanding far more from their rental property – and the tenants of tomorrow will no doubt expect landlords to keep pace by providing ever increasing energy efficient and eco friendly buildings – all packed with the latest in technology,” says Belvoir Managing Director, Dorian Gonsalves.
Nathan Crombie who owns Belvoir Brighton and Hove, adds: “Whilst the majority of our rental properties can be regarded as ‘conventional’ we know that many tenants like to have time, labour and energy saving features – and many landlords are spotting this as an opportunity to create ‘stand out’ features that attract quality tenants.”
Heating and water systems controlled remotely by SMS and home CCTV monitoring accessed from anywhere in the world using a simple App device are already commonplace. And massive strides forward have been made in making buildings both thermally and ecologically improved.
But here are some of Belvoir’s more quirky predictions for the home of the future. None of them are rooted in pure fantasy – every one of them is either in an advanced stage of development or already installed in homes around the world:
- Iris recognition secure entry – already used extensively in commercial and public buildings, it only allows entry by recognising the intricate structure of a person’s eye to prove the unambiguous identity of the individual.
- Smart homes that recognise individual occupiers by their heartbeat! A small, wearable wrist device allows entry and passage through the property. By ‘reading’ specific heart rhythms it can automatically adjust lighting levels, room temperature and select customised mood music based on personal preferences.
- Android ‘house helpers’. These not only deliver robotic cleaning of carpets and floors, but, as in the case of a hotel in the USA, ‘robo butlers’ can deliver towels, serve drinks or anything else programmed into their system.
- For singleton tenants of the future – how about the comforting companionship of a Japanese inspired ‘robo pet’ – a mechanical mutt, or canny cat with in-built circuitry that enables them to understand your commands!
- A relaxing night by the TV? Long talked about, ‘smelly vision’ is on its way too, with scented cartridges hooked up to the internet turning any big TV screen production into a real life epic – creating the smell of fire, rain forests or salty seas right there in the living room.
- Over in the kitchen, ‘smart’ fridges with radio frequency identification technology will automatically re-order grocery on-line as it runs out and also offer recipe suggestions based on the fridge or freezer’s contents.
- In similar culinary fashion, a new system can project recipes onto a kitchen work surface and uses cameras to find the ingredients and offer further advice on the method of preparation.
- Turning up the heat – ‘intelligent’ ovens which ‘read’ the ingredients of a raw dish, are also on the way. They recognise what the meal comprises and then cook it to perfection.
- In the bathroom, out goes the need for washing dirty towels, to be replaced by a drying system that uses UV light to kill bacteria.
- No more need for bathroom scales either – an in-built ‘body analyser’ will provide a full reading of weight, heart rate and body mass index.
- And finally to bed – one with a smart mattress that can track sleep patterns and is programmable to both help you drift into slumber, or wake you up at the touch of a button.
“Belvoir has seen many successive trends and developments in the property market and even 20 years ago we would have regarded Internet controlled blinds, curtains and shutters to control both light and security as highly futuristic,” adds Nathan Crombie.
“Whilst the above is a fun look at what the future might bring – it may be worth considering that they could be here much sooner than we all think!”