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Technologically Advanced Luxury Condominiums in the Form of Self-Sufficient ‘Pods’

Technologically Advanced Luxury Condominiums in the Form of Self-Sufficient ‘Pods’

Will Miami’s million dollar condo-buyers trade in their palatial beachfront condos for autonomous living that allows them to separate from the grid?

 

By Ross Milroy | January 22, 2018

MIAMI, – Throughout the country, and especially in Miami, we have seen drastic changes in the design, architecture and functionality of luxury condominiums over recent years. In effort to stand apart from the competition, developers have turned to over-the-top amenities, partnerships with luxury brands and have enlisted “starchitects.” These changes have brought additional beauty, originality and luxury to Miami’s rapidly changing skyline and set the bar for luxury condo living.

We now have condo projects branded as Porsche, Armani, Fendi, and Aston Martin; developments designed by countless Pritzker Prize-winning architects; and amenities that include everything from helipads to ice skating rinks and priceless art collections. It’s not just the developer’s egos at play here as they strive to outdo each other for ‘bigger & better.’ The steep increase in the cost for development sites in both Miami and Miami Beach has forced developers to increase prices from $500/sq. ft. to $1000/sq. ft. or more.

So where do we go from here? What will the future bring for luxury condominium living?

One of the most substantial changes in condo living that Miami luxury condo expert and real estate broker Ross Milroy is predicting are ‘self-contained, autonomous, privacy-centric pods.’

“Whether it’s society’s dependence on social media, the changes in how the public embraces technology or simply information and stimulation overload, people want the ability to separate themselves. Separate themselves from the workplace, crowds, the reliance on public utilities and the overall dependence on others,” said Milroy.

Recently we have gotten a glimpse into the possibility of this way of life through the introduction of luxury “doomsday bunkers,” which have been opening around the world.  For those with money to burn, a bomb shelter in the ground is not their idea of luxury living. Developers have been designing these self-contained luxury bunkers built into mountainsides, decommissioned military installations and other locations that are off the grid and out of harms way. These bunkers have shown that the ‘pod-like’ style of living is possible and it’s only a matter of time until this technology makes its way into our everyday lives.

The word “pod” may insinuate a small or cramped environment, but these bunkers, which can be seen a prototypes of typical condo living, are in fact sizeable luxury units outfitted with everything one may need to live a normal, comfortable life for a year or even longer. Designs similar to this could be constructed basically anywhere and within any design. These modular units could be stacked, similar to traditional condominiums, in an arch, spread out over a defined area, or could possibly even be moved from place to place.

Self-contained condos, which are no longer dependent on location, will not require the traditional outside support that is needed today. Custom pods will be built to the demands of the owner: freeing up the construction rigidness that is demanded by traditional condos. Things like the necessity to occupy the same general footprint; placement of crucial support walls and plumbing in a stacked line will only be limited by the confines of available space. Pods will be customizable just as new construction of single-family homes or luxury yachts are today. 

If this sounds too far-fetched to be reality, consider the technological advancements already available today that will make this possible:

With autonomous cars and services like Uber and ride sharing, we will no longer need multiple levels of parking. For those who do have their car in the building, they should expect to pay a premium and will utilize automated car-docking serviced by robotic elevators (just as Miami’s Porsche Design Tower’s “Dezervator” does today).

 

Since residents will become accustomed to relying on their own private areas, opulent, space-consuming lobbies will be replaced with simple robots or kiosks to allow residents to manage their building needs while entry will be gained via optical and facial recognition software. Condo owners will be generating their own power from solar cells storing energy in the unit’s wall-mounted stations, which when combined with the reduction of common areas will remove the need for huge emergency generators. Technology advancements that will allow windows to also serve as impact-resistant solar cells will further the feasibility of in-unit power production, which also frees residents from the reliance on temperamental utility power grids.

These pods will be precision-crafted machines that allow for renewable energy, advanced recycled water and waste filtration systems to deliver self-reliant resources at a fraction of the cost. Engineering must be cutting edge to ensure complete weatherizing, soundproofing and overall craftsmanship to allow for a lifestyle that does not require regular service by technicians, electricians and other service personnel that would hinder the very privacy it promises to provide.

Both the indoor and outdoor systems must operate together and complement the other. Smart interiors will integrate with the exterior — similar to how today’s cars use engine heat to warm the cabin. Pods will enlist energy conservation and smart-integration allowing heat generated from electronics to be used for drying clothes and purified recycled water for air conditioning, washing and even drinking. 

In the present day, most luxury condo buyers value location and stunning views as two of the most important attributes of a condo. With technology enhanced solar and LCD integrated glass, spectacular views-on-demand will become commonplace and allow residents to instantly have a water view, or select to enjoy views of a snowy mountainside.  Once inside the pod, the atmosphere can be whatever the user wants — at any time.  Glass company Kinestral Technologies has announced that in 2018, they will begin offering a residential option to their line of E-windows and skylights. Called Halio, this technology allows users to tint glazing electronically up to 99.9% opacity. Similarly, Mercedes-Benz recently introduced transparent sunroofs that double as solar cells.

These technologies will allow for complete privacy on-demand, and full transparency to the outside world, while generating electricity, all at the touch of a button from a smart-phone app. 

Do you really need your condo to be steps from the ocean where it is susceptible to floods, hurricanes and disasters? If the view on demand is not real enough, self-driving cars will be immediately available to take you anywhere you’d like to be.

If these advancements seem like just pipe dreams for a society who has been promised flying cars for literally 100 years, consider this: everything detailed in the scenarios above CAN and IS being done now. The real question is just a matter of collaboration and integration to put it all together into one project. What will it take for developers to gather all of the technology currently available and compile it into a truly livable, safe, private, self-contained, off-the-grid luxurious living environment? Who will embrace this style living, and what will they be willing to pay?

 

For more information on this topic, or to arrange media interviews with Ross Milroy, please contact James Goll, 24-Group PR, jg@24-group.com

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