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Home is where the ‘smart’ is

Posted by Samantha Browning on 13th August 2018

As a new, but proud, owner of what I’m casually referring to as a ‘doer-upper’, my evenings and weekends have recently been filled with new experiences and property-related lingo (hot air vent heating, anyone?). From painting over Tango orange-coloured walls to ripping up smelly carpets (don’t ask), I’ve certainly been thrown in at the deep end.

While the whole process from house hunting to late-night decorating sessions has been an interesting (and fun) learning curve, it got me thinking about the ways tech could make the whole process much easier in the future.

VR viewings

Having seen an impressive, grand total of 23 properties before finding ‘the one’, I know only too well how time-consuming a property hunt can be and just how much time you need to spend with estate agents.

While they are a necessary evil, nobody wants to spend their precious spare time with a kid in a suit who looks for a non-existent dishwasher in a cutlery drawer (genuine example). So, anything to help house hunters spend less time with estate agents would surely be embraced by the general public. Similarly, if it helped save these professionals time to sell and show more houses, it’d be a win-win.

With a number of online-only estate and lettings agents already using technology to enhance their businesses, it seems that this trend is here to stay. As digital technology makes it easier than ever to connect with these people at a time that suits you, why not take this one step further.

For those particularly busy (or anti-social) people who don’t have time or enthusiasm to tour the local area’s available properties, virtual reality (VR) could radically change the face of property sales.

Virtual home tours would allow you to view a property without having to move from the comfort of your own (current) home. Estate agents could still lead the tour or be available for follow-up questions and both parties would save themselves some valuable time.

As homeowners become more tech-savvy and trust in VR house viewings increases, we’re likely to see estate agents offering this more and more regularly.

As smart as a brush

From Jasmine White to Natural Vanilla, Dulux has dozens of elaborately-named, off-white paint colours to choose from. This probably explains why the company launched a colour-matching app earlier this month, which will help you find the exact shade of paint you’re after.

Dulux also offers a paint colour ‘visualizer’, which allows homeowners to upload a picture of their room and virtually paint it, taking the guess work or arguments over identical-looking colour swatches out of the picture.

And it’s not just the paint that’s getting a ‘smart’ makeover. The Wagner TurboRoll is an electric paint roller with a battery-powered motor in its handle that rotates the brush for you, saving your aching arms and a whole load of time.

I’ll be honest with you; I used to be more of a ‘D-I-why would you do it yourself’ kinda gal. But recently, things have changed, and the advancement of smart home tech is only likely to encourage more reluctant DIY-ers to give it a go.

From controlling your heating and lighting through an app to using your phone’s Bluetooth as a digital key, the Internet of Things is already making it easier than ever for smart tech to fit into our daily life at home. But these innovations aren’t just about convenience; they’re helping homeowners keep their properties safe, warm, well-lit and (let’s face it) pretty cool.

Within the next few years, the technologies that might have previously sounded like something out of The Jetsons or Dr Who are likely to be commonplace. And as helpful and exciting as these technologies sound, I just hope my own renovation project will be finished by then!



Samantha Browning

With two and a half years of experience in technology PR gained at a London-based agency, Sammy joined Wildfire in November 2016 and brings with her invaluable knowledge of the consumer and B2B tech landscape and the wider media industry. Whilst gaining her degree from The University of Kent in English & American Literature and French, Sammy spent a year abroad living and studying in France. She continues her love of writing, books and the French language in both her professional and personal life. Sammy is a big fan of food, films, travelling and dogs. She loves planning holidays and would be very happy to hear of any recommendations!