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If you thought smart homes were a distant reality, or something you’d never get to see in your lifetime, you’d be wrong — because it’s closer than you think. As close as next year, in fact.

The homes in question? An executive condominium, set to be launched in Sembawang in 2016.

Yesterday, local developer Qingjian Realty announced their partnership with South Korean conglomerate Samsung, which will see the two companies working together to build smart homes in Singapore. These smart homes will include appliances that users can sync to personal devices like smartphones, allowing them to operate these appliances remotely.

Such devices are not new: self-watering flower pots are already in the market. But what Samsung and Qingjian are attempting to do is to make the integration between home appliances and personal devices even more seamless.

According to Today, the smart homes will be able to recognise owners’ lifestyle patterns, such that lights get turned on and coffee made as soon as they wake up. PropertyGuru also reported that home owners will be able to operate washing machines remotely via smart devices (I’m curious though: will these washing machines actually load themselves with the laundry?)

Smart washing machines will be synced to handphones so users can remotely operate them (Image Credit: en.akihabaranews.com)
Smart washing machines will be synced to handphones so users can remotely operate them (Image Credit: en.akihabaranews.com)

Home owners who’ve purchased property developed under Qingjian Realty, and are slated to receive their Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) ‎this year — therefore missing out on the smart homes — need not feel left out. They’ll be offered discounted rates on Samsung appliances, so they can enjoy a range of smart devices as well.

The smart homes are one of the latest developments in Singapore’s mission to become a Smart Nation, and frankly, I’m all for it. Conveniences aside — the slob in me is already looking forward to the cups of freshly brewed tea I’ll be able to down without having to lift a finger — think about all the possibilities that smart homes could bring to citizens, especially the elderly or people with disabilities.

Such homes would make it a lot safer for these groups of people — think smart devices that will clean the floors of homes without putting the elderly at risk of slipping on wet surfaces. So bring on the smart homes; preferably with self-loading washing machines included.

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