The future of new homes

Creating homes fit for tomorrow is a complex task. Queensberry Properties’ sales and marketing director, Hazel Davies, takes a look to the future and explains the importance Queensberry place on future-proofing their homes in readiness for forthcoming advances in technology.

“In the last twenty years, our homes have seen unprecedented change. They’ve evolved from passive dwellings with unconnected electrical devices into internet hotspots, packed with interlinked gadgets and web-enabled entertainment. Broadband internet connections now underpin everything from entertainment to security and millions of people have been able to start working from home using cloud-hosted software.

Look towards the light

“As a forward-thinking developer, Queensberry Properties is actively involved in the digital revolution taking place within Scotland’s homes. It’s our responsibility to ensure the properties we build today are compatible with tomorrow’s technologies, even if they’re not on the market yet. For instance, WiFi internet access will almost certainly be replaced by LiFi – ultra-high speed data transmitted through standard LED lights. Device manufacturers are working feverishly to develop this exciting new technology, with some of the biggest LiFi breakthroughs happening right here in Scotland. Because we already install energy-efficient LEDs into our properties, Queensberry Properties’ homes will be future-proofed when the first domestic LiFi devices reach the market in 2021.

Clouds on the horizon

“Internet access will underpin homes of tomorrow, just as electricity underpinned 20th century households. By 2035, there will be an estimated 125 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices around the world, all capable of performing specific tasks online. This is the technology behind ovens you can pre-heat on your way home, or fridges that reorder certain goods as they run low. An early example of this technology involves voice-controlled virtual assistants like Google Home and Amazon Alexa. These IoT devices control other web-enabled gadgets, streaming entertainment into our homes and even managing our diaries for us.

“Home security is another area being transformed by cloud-based internet access. Queensberry Properties’ new homes are secure by design, but recent advances in video intercoms and biometric door locks are elevating this to a whole new level. Webcams can identify movement and support two-way communication, while facial recognition software prevents known individuals from triggering an alarm. This is a world away from today’s motion-sensor perimeter alarms, which can be triggered by a passing lorry or even a wayward snowball.

A world of entertainment

“With more UK households now subscribed to streaming media services than cable or satellite TV, homes of tomorrow also need to meet our entertainment needs. Sky will shortly launch their first TV service across the internet, without requiring an external satellite dish. Streaming media services are ideal for properties in conservation zones or areas where external alterations to buildings may not be permissible, like, for example, Queensberry Properties’ forthcoming New Waverley development in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic old town. The rise of Netflix and Spotify ensure media streaming services are available anywhere in any home, at any time.

“IoT technology is also transforming domestic utilities. Smart energy meters are already commonplace, giving people greater control over gas and electricity consumption. Smart water leak sensors enable homeowners to shut off the water supply to their properties from thousands of miles away; advances like this could even reduce home insurance premiums. Mains-powered smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will become able to monitor overall air quality and send us phone alerts if a problem is detected, potentially saving lives.

“From safety to entertainment, fast and reliable internet access will be an essential component of the home of tomorrow. And while we can’t always predict which technologies will reach the mainstream, Queensberry Properties is closely following emerging trends to ensure today’s homes are ready for tomorrow’s world.