What many of us thought would be a month of mask-wearing and sheltering in place has evolved into an enduring global event. The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked rapid and radical changes to air travel, shopping procedures, work situations, schooling – even the way we greet our loved ones.
Our homes are changing too. During the last several months, our living spaces have transformed into workplaces, schools, gyms, movie theaters, conference centers, and more. In this article, we’ll examine how COVID-19 is altering our homes – and what future smart homes will be like after the pandemic.
Smart Home Tech Combating Pandemic Shortage Woes
If your family had to go without toilet paper during the pandemic – even for a day – you experienced a very rude awakening. Toilet paper has always been deemed essential, which is why shortages have rocked the country in the past few months due to panic buying. In response, an old European solution is becoming popular as an alternative to toilet paper: the bidet.
Bidet sales are soaring in the United States in the wake of COVID-19. Homeowners are viewing them like gas generators during a power outage. They would instead not use them, but in a “State of TP Emergency,” a bidet makes life better. There’s even a touchless smart bidet. Kohler sells a variety of smart home bathroom gadgets, including a smart commode, a smart bathtub, and an Alexa-connected mirror that talks to you and allows you to voice order bathroom supplies from Amazon.
Bigger Is Better: Homes Will Have More Room to Breathe
The more time you spend at home with family, the more cramped you start to feel. Homebuyers are turning their eyes toward space. Bigger yards, bigger rooms, bigger everything is now becoming more attractive.
As the National Association of Realtors points out:
“A survey of 1,300 homeowners conducted by realtor.com® and Toluna Insights found “small spaces” was the biggest gripe from owners about their homes during the pandemic. Small-space fatigue may be particularly prominent in big cities, in which a 300-square-foot apartment is more common.”
That withstanding, one of the most common ways to give homes a feeling of space – the open floor plan – may be going by the wayside. Families need to feel like they can self-isolate from each other if someone is sick, so it’s not likely that architects will be removing walls and partitions to create an illusion of space in the future. While most homeowners would like larger spaces, they’re not likely to sacrifice safety. This also follows some architectural trends as some designers are opting to move away from open floor plans anyway.
Home Offices and Home Classrooms Are a Priority
With more people working, learning, and meeting from home, home offices where you can engage in these activities are crucial. The post-pandemic home is likely to feature dedicated spaces where children can connect with teachers for remote classes, and where parents can focus on their jobs and remotely attend professional conferences. We will see more garages, attics, basements, and spare bedrooms converted into professional environments.
Aside from dedicated spaces, working and learning require faster internet connections. According to the World Bank, homeschooling during COVID-19 means that 1.5 billion children need high-speed internet connections. Needless to say, a high-speed internet connection will be essential for the post-pandemic home office.
Touchless, Voice Controlled Smart Home Technology
Given the way viruses transmit, touchless smart home technology will help reduce the chance of COVID-19 transmission in the home. As a representative from Android notes:
“Voice-controlled electronics decrease the amount of high-touch surfaces in people’s households. This includes TVs, lights, thermostats, speakers, and more… And since COVID-19 can spread between people via commonly touched surfaces, this potentially minimizes the impact of the virus.”
Additionally, many smart home tech devices help you automate online shopping. This tech can reduce the amount of time you spend in public shopping centers where viruses spread. According to Jonathan Collins, Research Director at ABI Research:
“In the long term, voice control will continue [to] be the Trojan horse of smart home adoption. COVID-19 is part of the additional motivation and incentive for voice control in the home that will help drive awareness and adoption for a range of additional smart home devices and applications.”
Finally, smart doorbells and smart video cameras let you interact with delivery people, so you have less face-to-face contact with individuals who aren’t in your immediate family. These benefits will likely inspire more smart home tech adoption in the wake of COVID-19.
PointCentral: Design an Integrated Smart Home in Response to COVID-19
PointCentral offers advanced smart home tech solutions that are growing increasingly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. As renters and home buyers start looking for the benefits of smart home tech in the years ahead, PointCentral can help you develop a home tech strategy to make your properties more attractive in the current marketplace. Contact PointCentral for a demo of our solutions now.