Luxury property developers are stripping back the amount of technology they pre-install in new homes in a reverse of the trend seen over the past few years. Until recently the strategy of developers was to provide a ‘wow factor’ by packing properties full of the latest technology in the world. Wall-mounted tablets with extensive menus of digital controls for everything from lighting and temperature to air conditioning and blinds were common. Gadgets and digital control systems abounded and interior design tended towards the smooth, clean lines and shiny surfaces associated of futuristic sci-fi films.
However, it turns out that most of us don’t, in fact, want to over-digitalise our homes. And when we do choose to install tech at home we want to be able to decide for ourselves what, how and select our own preferred technology rather than a developer’s choice being foisted onto us. Developers have now realised that one-size-fits-all technology fit outs make properties seem less, not more, attractive to the majority of buyers.
Also, generally speaking, the point of adopting new technology is to make our lives easier or to have greater control. That has not always been the case with home tech, which can sometimes seem faddish and edge more towards show than practicality. For many, a simple, old-fashioned light switch can be a much more convenient way to control lighting than a wall panel with an array of touch screen controls.
A further consideration is the fact that the latest technology in the world is currently evolving so quickly. Until 5 years ago many home buyers wanted developers to build speaker wires into the walls and sometimes even ceilings of properties. Now everything is wireless. Building technology into homes makes updating it a bigger and higher cost task a few years down the line. An array of tech that adds prestige one year can very quickly make the same space look dated.
The approach developers of upmarket new properties are now taking is to provide cutting-edge technology infrastructure in the shape of the latest fibre optic internet connectivity. Laying the groundwork for the best possible internet speed is now a requirement. Owners can then personalise their space with the technology they choose themselves. As well as optimising any ‘smart’ technology home owners wish to install, the growing trend towards remote working from home means that fast, reliable internet is key and not pre-selected, standardised gadgets and gizmos filling every corner of a home.
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