BSC Summit

Monday, October 31, 2016

Modular Housing Needs to Adapt to Future Technology

Our world is being transformed by rapid advances in sciences and technology that are touching every aspect of our lives.

So what changes could these developments bring about for the modular housing industry? We only have to look around us to see just how much can change in a relatively short space of time.

Our lives have been shaped by developments which most of us couldn’t have imagined a decade ago. For example, handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets now allow us to have live video conversations with our friends, translate instantaneously between multiple languages, watch full length videos and monitor diverse aspects of our health from blood pressure to oxygen flow and stress levels.

3D printing is now being used to create entire houses. Work is being done right now on 4D Printing that will allow houses to be shipped as flatpack and the shell will erect itself once placed on the foundation.

As we look ahead, the decade could be shaped by advances in nanotechnology, information technology,  robotics, 4D printing and super-smart building materials.

Here are things that could impact different aspects of modular construction by 2025:

Wearable Technology
Homeowners will be monitored and managed 24/7 by a variety of wearable technologies and devices implanted into our bodies and monitored by different areas of the house. These will help us track every vital sign and link directly to both our own handheld devices and to monitoring services provided by our healthcare providers. 3D printing already allows us to create replacement body parts. The evolution to 4D printing - where objects make themselves. Factories will have tech designers on staff to work with the builder’s customers.

Corporate Giants
The big housing companies will have the vast majority of new home starts. Modular and prefab will have adapted to be a part of their process. There will still be a need for custom modular home builders but the market they serve will be a more exclusive one. We will see an ever-increasing number of so called ‘exponential companies’ that achieve rapid rates of growth by using science and technology to disrupt old industries and create new ones.

Immersivity
By 2025 technology advances will give rise to new immersive live and virtual leisure experiences. For example, we will be able to become participants in live action adventures games from Roman battles to re-running the Olympic 100 metres final with robots performing the roles of the other contestants. Just like in the old Star Trek movies, there will be rooms in homes devoted to this technology. Aren’t you glad you have that tech designer on your staff.

Mixed Reality Living
The boundaries between virtual and physical worlds will have disappeared by 2025 as we overlay multiple layers of digital sensory augmentation over our physical environment.

Augmented and virtual reality will have advanced to the point where we can stimulate all our senses over the internet and via our handheld devices.

So, for example, when booking a hotel, these developments would enable us to feel the bed linens, taste the food in the restaurant and smell the bath products - all from a device in the palm of our hands.

Robotics
The replacement of humans by robots in manufacturing has been taking place for two decades - it is now spreading to a wide range of other sectors such elder care, crop spraying and warehouse management and home building.

By 2025 robots will have entered every aspect of human life and will be commonplace - performing functions as diverse as nursing, complex surgery, policing and security, through to construction, retail and hotel service roles.

Robotics will be part of future home construction. Now you’re really glad that techie is on board.

Internet of Life
In the next decade upwards of 100 billion objects from smartphones to street lamps and our cars will be connected together via a vast ‘internet of everything’. This will impact every aspect of our lives - for example it could transform the criminal justice system.

By 2025, evidence in a court case will include data taken from body worn cameras and microphones and sensors in everyday objects such as clothing, furniture and even our coffee cups - proving exactly what happened and who was present at the scene of a crime.

The home, where people spend a majority of their day, will become a huge part of the Internet of Things. OMG, now the techie wants a raise and a seat on the board.

Connected, But Simple

Right now, there’s a lot of excitement about the Internet of Things. We’re connecting everything: your thermostat, your refrigerator, your car, your garage, your garden… That means lots of sensors and meters. We’ll be measuring, tracking and analyzing even more than we already do.

But in 10 years, as it matures, we’ll see this connected ecosystem simplify.

Rather than gauging if the toilet has enough water, the soap bottle is full enough and the lights are the perfect level, your smart bathroom can ask, “How was your visit?” You can say “Good,” or perhaps, “Bad —  there wasn’t enough soap.” This eliminates the need for so much tracking, and makes the experience feel more human. Ultimately, our devices will rely on our feedback just as much as data.

The modular housing industry is not insulated from these advances and shortly the newest wave of Millennials will begin buying modular homes and will expect us to be up to date with the latest and greatest.

1 comment:

Jimmy Ball said...

People, don't like change, so most of them keep waiting for something to change on its own. I'm yet to see things change by its self. I've been in the Manufactured Housing Industry for close to 20 years now, and the plants that I've designed the Drywall Productions in, was for people that needed the technology,some of them never realized they even had a problem, until I showed them how it can be done better using the best technology.