Top tech trends: home and building automation

Using a phone app to lock or unlock your home, turn lights on and off, set room temperature, monitor your place remotely –home automation undoubtedly makes our lives easier (plus it’s a great way to show off to your friends).  Driven by the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s predicted that very soon, most if not all, home appliances and features will be connected to the internet.  Think cooking utensils, blinds, windows and even fridges.

Yes, we said fridges. We’re talking about the Samsung Family Hub Fridge.  Featuring a 21.5 inch screen, this device, sorry, fridge can give you an internal view of what’s inside, display thousands of recipes, order ingredients online, and notify you of product use-by dates.  But that’s not all. This R2D2 of fridges can turn off your Samsung TV (great for when the remote goes missing… again!).  It can display a slideshow of your favourite photographs, surf the net, set timers for food prep, play music, brief you on the weather, and even has its own whiteboard.

While sadly it may be time to say goodbye to your local tradie’s fridge magnet, the benefits of writing on this fridge’s whiteboard are endless. Encapsulate all your family notes, messages, appointments. And our favourite, use it to remind your children that a snack before dinner is not going to happen, but they could make better use of their time by cleaning their room. Seriously, you don’t even need to speak, let alone raise your voice.

With your fridge taking care of the domestic duties, what about home security? That’s where remote entry and home monitoring come into play.  Take, for example, Airbnb’s RemoteLock for property owners.  This latest integrated smart-lock system manages property access with each booking.  No more exchanging keys, early check-in or overstay disruptions, nor unauthorised guests.  Providing a temporary code to guests through the Airbnb booking system, property owners can issue new codes, delete codes, know who has entered the property, and receive text alerts when codes are used – all from their computer or phone.

Next, let’s talk about building automation.  Driven by machine learning, this technology enables the automatic and central control of a building’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), lighting, security, fire safety and energy management.

Using pattern recognition and predictive analysis, machine learning technology can combine historical weather and building data with future weather forecasts, to predict how your facility will run on the following day and adjust temperatures accordingly.  This in turn automatically improves your energy and cost efficiencies, while keeping residents comfortable and cosy all year round. A winning strategy.

Did you know building automation also plays a key role in our very own Virtual Concierge? Designed to give building managers more time to interact with residents and less time behind the desk, BuildingLink Companion is a work-shifting solution. For example, instead of the Building Manager receiving parcels and signing visitors in, residents can now input their own data into a tablet which is paired in real time with front-desk computers.

Complementing BuildingLink Companion is ConciergeLink.  A touchscreen device and database, ConciergeLink handles the bulk of front desk operations, while also managing internet connectivity and database syncing.  This, again frees up time for the Building Manager, streamlining administration, daily tasks and building system functionality.

With new developments in home and building automation innovations such as these, it’s no surprise that convenience and time-efficiency continue to play a key role in creating better liveability in our communities.  BuildingLink International are very excited to continuously research, test and launch new facets of home and building automation technology into our buildings, always searching for ways to improve the living space for our residents.

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