When you look at trends in real estate, home design, and construction, two popular concepts in recent years have been tiny houses and smart homes. Each is compelling for unique reasons, but even more interesting is the imminent rise of tiny smart homes.
3 Innovations That Take Tiny Houses to the Next Level
“Over the years, the notion has always been that the bigger the house you have, the more successful you must be,” Houston-based property management company Green Residential explains. “However, experience shows that many people who live in big houses are actually ‘house poor’ – meaning most of their money goes towards their home and they don’t have the financial resources to do other things.”
Over the past decade, it seems more people have come to the realization that bigger is not always better. Smart home technology has also become more practical and affordable over this same period. So it was only a matter of time before these two ideas collided.
It’s still very much a niche in the worlds of real estate and construction, but here are some innovations that are making tiny smart homes practical options for discerning homeowners.
1. Connected Platforms
For tech company Intel, a primary goal is a world where all of your possessions seamlessly communicate with one another. This means your car speaks to your home, your phone communicates with your refrigerator, your garage door opener communicates with your security system, etc. To achieve this, there needs to be some platform that allows connected devices to talk to each other. So Intel recently created a tiny smart house as a living lab to explore how this would work.
“The home is based on Intel’s Smart Home Development Acceleration Platform, which has been developed as a means to connect smart devices and to overcome interoperability issues that arise between such devices, technology platforms and third-party service providers,” Stu Robarts writes for New Atlas.
From lights, music, and thermostats to door locks, kitchen appliances, and security features, the system can control just about anything. While only a test pilot, Intel is showing us what’s possible in the future.
2. Motorized Partitions
One of the biggest issues with tiny houses is that most people are accustomed to living in homes that have five- to ten-times the square footage. This takes some getting used to and means every element must be hyper-efficient. A tech company called Ori is engineering furniture that makes this a priority.
“Ori uses architectural robotics to physically shift the furniture that separates your space. Their motorized multi-use partitions make it easy to maximize your living room during the day or your bedroom at night,” home automation expert Jordan Wills explains. “A fitting name deriving from ‘origami,’ Ori glides smoothly between programmable positions with the touch of a button.”
3. WiFi Hotspots
One of the bigger challenges with tiny houses is that they’re often located in remote areas. People tend to place them on vacant land, in wooded areas, and in places where utilities aren’t always connected.
In a world where internet is vital to communication and job opportunities, this makes living in a smart house tough for a lot of people. Thankfully, mobile hotspot technology has improved and is now easily integrated into tiny homes, regardless of location.
Tiny Houses Pack a Powerful Punch
Just because you have a tiny house doesn’t mean it has to be weak, uncomfortable, or cheap. As smart home technology becomes more synonymous with tiny house construction, people are starting to realize that small homes can pack a powerful punch.