Rethink Housing: Step inside the smart homes of tomorrow

IoT, Cloud Native Application Development, big data

The ‘Connected Home' and Internet of Things market is estimated to be worth £4.5 billion in the UK by 2020 and some $150 billion worldwide.  While industries such as utilities, telecoms and hi-tech manufacturers are all entering this new market from different angles, are housing associations ready to embrace the Connected Home? 

Well, actually, they are and it’s already starting to happen. Organisations such as Salix Homes are leading the field by rethinking the way they provide their services in order to cope with the demands of the future. As the first housing association to fully embrace public cloud, they are now working to build relationships with healthcare providers to monitor the wellbeing of elderly residents and develop cloud-native applications to enable tenants to report maintenance issues.

So let’s take a look at a few scenarios to find out how some of these technologies could work in practice:

Scenario 1: Elderly resident, Mary has recently been discharged from hospital after having a fall. She has also been diagnosed with early onset dementia and is struggling to live independently.

Solution: using smart home technology and more specifically, IoT, discrete sensors around Mary’s home constantly monitor her health and wellbeing. Wearable technology reminds Mary to take her medication while a sensor in the sofa monitors how long Mary has been sat down, as prolonged periods of rest could increase the risk of another fall.

As Mary has now been sat on the sofa for four hours, a health worker has been discharged to the property to help Mary get up and about safely.

Scenario 2: Kyle notices a leaky tap before he goes on holiday but doesn’t want to wait until he gets back to have the issue fixed.

Solution: Using a self-service customer portal, Kyle logs on to the housing associations’ dedicated app, he reports the leaky tap and books the earliest appointment. The appointment is automatically confirmed, and the following day Kyle receives a request to enable the maintenance workers to gain access to the property. Kyle grants access using the smart-lock app on his phone. An hour later, the leaky tap has been fixed and Kyle receives a text to inform him the work has been completed and the property has been secured.  

Scenario 3: It’s a bitterly cold winter and Natalie is at work when her boiler breaks.

Solution: Thankfully, by the time Natalie gets home the boiler has already been fixed. While Natalie was out, the boiler fault had automatically been detected and an instant notification has been set to the housing association’s maintenance team and to Natalie. Flagged as a category 1 issue, the maintenance team were dispatched later on that day to rectify the problem. Natalie then received a text to notify her that the boiler had been fixed enabling her to return home from work to a warm home.

These scenarios highlight just a handful of the ways smart technology can be used to improve the lives of residents, and especially elderly residents for which this technology could be life-saving.

By utilising this technology, we can enable elderly residents to live independently in their own homes for longer, improving both physical and mental wellbeing, while younger residents can get on with their busy lives while maintenance issues are detected and fixed without impeding on their day. 

To deliver this step change in the housing sector, organisation such as Salix Homes are turning to public cloud to bring IoT, Big data and application development initiatives to life.

ANS has been working with housing associations to make end-to-end IoT solutions easy to adopt, integrate and scale and can support you in turning the big data from your sensors into intelligent business decisions. This is underpinned by our cloud-native application development capabilities which can help you leverage cutting edge technology to deliver seamless functionality.

To find out how Salix Homes are transforming housing and empowering their residents, watch their rethink housing video below and read the full press release here.


Posted by Helen Thomas