March 1st, 2017Student Accommodation News
As student property developers constantly look to innovate in the building of premium accommodation, competition to provide students with the best facilities as they try and get more for their money is increasing. It is certainly true that student loans and finance have been under the microscope since the latest increase in tuition fees, and students are now much more aware of where they spend their limited money.
With this in mind, developers need to be looking to the future in order to give themselves the edge in an ever-more competitive market. With more profit being made than ever, and new student landlords entering the market on an almost daily basis, what technical innovations might we start to see in student accommodation which will ensure that they stay ahead of the competition?
‘The internet of things’ is a concept which will see more and more appliances and objects around the home being connected to the internet and becoming ‘smart’. In the student accommodation of the future we can reasonably expect to see things such as ‘smart fridges’ and ‘smart washers’.
What will these do? Well, a smart fridge could easily notify students when supplies are running low, estimate capacity and run a countdown for food going off. It is not beyond the realms of possibility to wonder whether they could perhaps even suggest recipes for ingredients held inside.
What about a smart washer? With student apartment blocks or shared student accommodation often having as many as 10 or 15 students sharing a washer, would it not be useful to have an app on a phone which could notify users when the machine is free to use?
As technology becomes more embedded into our daily lives, these items could become essential to future students and, consequently, developers.
Imagine a lighting system that could be controlled by a smart phone, a touch pad or an automated system. The benefits to students, who would be able to control the lighting for their own part of their accommodation, are clear. The ability to set your lighting to an automated schedule without the need to inspect every room is an attractive one.
There are also practical implications for landlords and letting agents, as it would be possible to have each student link into the system through an app which could automatically switch off the students lights when they leave, saving a possible fortune on electricity bills – vital in a buy-to-let sector where bills are normally included in the rent. The environmental savings would also be notable and worthwhile.
Energy efficient technology
In a similar vein to lighting controls, this could be expanded across the entire building to analyse, control and manage energy use. Site management could use the technology to see where energy wastage was at its worst, see where things needed to be improved, and even predict costs.
In addition, this technology could self-manage itself so efficiently that it could inform a building manager when a light bulb needed changing, when an air filter needed cleaning, or when a machine needed replacing.
Centralised streaming services
Smart televisions are already the television of choice for the wider consumer market, with the ability to connect to the internet a must for any new technology. The technology itself is becoming more widely available and cheaper to implement. In the same way that many office computers are now just a gateway to an internet connection and a cloud-based infrastructure, televisions will soon be the same.
Digital and cable tellies are often too expensive to truly interest the student market, but what about installing one within a shared space that simply has access to all the popular streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and Apple TV?
With the student property market diversifying, this is just a snap shot into a near future where more providers will be competing for student business. Expect some technology on this list to become standard within three years and some even more ground-breaking tech to emerge as time goes by.
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