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The Internet of Things is expanding… and housebuilders should pay attention

Updated: Mar 3, 2023


Back in 1999, when dial-up internet and painfully slow-loading web pages were the pinnacle of connected technology, David Bowie predicted that we hadn’t yet seen the tip of the iceberg – in some casual remarks while being interviewed about his music, he envisaged that the internet would dominate society in years to come.


Cut to today, and how right Bowie was. Whether it’s smart devices for home, work, and play, connecting with friends and strangers, or looking for a partner in the online dating world – connected tech touches every aspect of our lives.


Now, there are more things connected to the internet than people on the planet


The Internet of Things (IoT) is the catchy name for the fast-growing network of physical objects that can connect to the internet and each other. In 2023, it’s expected that we’ll have more than 14bn of these connected devices around the world, and this could rise to more than 29 billion by 2030. Smart businesses are already using data collected from the IoT to enhance their services. Sainsbury’s and Co-op have introduced Scan, Pay and Go to eliminate friction points and get rid of the queue at checkout. Car manufacturers are building connected tech into their vehicles; from RFID keyless features to the ability to connect your phone or tablet to your car’s dashboard computer, to in-car app features like real-time traffic updates or parking payment capability.


Not only does engaging with connected tech improve the experience for consumers, but it’s a means for businesses to future-proof their product by meeting the expectations of customers used to the convenience the IoT brings.


The pace is picking up for IoT-connected homes


Our homes are increasingly welcoming IoT-connected tech, thanks in large part to us spending so much time there during the pandemic lockdowns. Convenience devices like smart meters, Google Nest, and Amazon’s Alexa are already a popular staple in many homes, with over 11 billion Nests sold since 2011. These devices connect houses from room to room, person to person, allowing you to control everything from entertainment to security, lighting, appliances, temperature, and much more.


As the cost-of-living crisis rages on, adoption of these devices is likely to become even more significant, as people start to use the data-led features to adapt behaviour and use energy more efficiently to manage their bills.


Smart homes are a hub for healthy living

Ten years ago, controlling our homes in this way may have felt like sci-fi, but now it’s normal. Soon, it’ll be essential, and even the gadgets that seem outlandish today will be commonplace in another ten years. Devices like the Hidrate Spark smart water bottle, which tracks your hydration and prompts you to drink, or Eight Sleep’s smart mattress that regulates your temperature overnight to optimise your snooze – tech that’s already hit the mainstream with shoutouts from popular wellbeing and lifestyle podcasters, Rich Roll and Andrew Huberman with the Huberman Lab podcast.


Staying fit and healthy is also getting a smart upgrade: brands like VAHA have created fitness mirrors with real-time and virtual classes to help us live our best life without having to trek to the gym.


Apps like Inside Tracker have soared in popularity, offering ultra-personalised health programmes and guidance tailored to you based on your data. Apps like Calm, Headspace, and Betterhelp are supporting more people than ever to look after their mental and emotional health with the help of an internet connection. And with so many people now relying on their broadband for their favourite yoga, meditation, HIIT, or spinning classes on demand, the home has already become the new hub for healthy living.


As demand increases and the home becomes a central hub for connected devices designed to improve and assist our daily lives, it highlights the need for connectivity to be at the core of housebuilder thinking to appeal to the buyers of tomorrow.


Buyers need developers to future-proof today with ground-breaking connectivity


The increasing demand for IoT capability is already reflected in eye-watering stats, such as the power of slow internet to reduce house prices by as much £38,902. And alongside buyers’ current needs, developers need to also consider the complete lifecycle of their homes to ensure their connectivity solution will still be fit for purpose in 5 years’ time, when IoT connected devices will likely be in much wider use, and in 10 years’ time, when the buyer may choose to cash in on their investment and sell.


The IoT relies on connectivity to thrive and grow, and today’s broadband services will soon look as ancient as dial-up internet when compared to Full Fibre. So, what can developers do? ‘Be More Bowie’. Predict the future, then build homes that are fit for buyers’ needs and expectations today, tomorrow, and in ten years’ time. With the government committing to nationwide gigabit internet by 2025, now is the time to get ahead of the game and future-proof with true Full Fibre connectivity.


Swish invests in understanding how and when people use connected technology so we can help you to build with buyers in mind, on a network that’s endlessly upgradable and future-proofed for generations.


We’d love to tell you more. Get in touch with us at property@swishfibre.com.

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