On 1 October 2018, the smart flat-share celebrated its first birthday. This meant it was time for the planned changeover to take place: the ‘first set’ of five young women moved out, and Maren, Andreas and Timo moved in. A look back at the past twelve months reveals that entering the smart world of living didn’t just run smartly, as the flatmates write in their blog: ‘… after all, smart apartments need to be set up for the first time. There’s no alternative to setting up the smart technology!’ It actually took a few weeks to get everything ‘up and running’. After that, however – the flatmates are unanimous on this point – the smart technology really helped make everyday life easier. This was particularly true when it came to controlling household appliances on the move or lights turning on automatically when they came into the apartment hall laden with shopping bags.
Summary after one year
The outcome is broadly positive: ‘Initially, you have to put time into installing the individual pieces of hardware and connecting them ... but in hindsight, the extra effort at the start certainly pays off – we are reluctant now to go without the smart lights and Sonos boxes. This helps us save time and energy, as we can keep an eye on everything at all times on the move and can switch the lights off if we happen to forget.’ However, the Alexa voice recognition from Amazon lost some of her popularity, as she often didn’t correctly understand what was said.
More than smart gadgets
The five young women’s task wasn’t just a root-and-branch examination of smart living in everyday life. They also worked together on a project. The framework for this was the master’s course where various projects were carried out for various companies.
And who are the new arrivals?
Meet Maren, Andreas and Timo. Maren is 24 and comes from near Göttingen, in the heart of Germany. She is a trained technical design assistant who went on to study communications and multimedia management. She is currently finishing her master’s. Andreas is 30 and is originally from Russia. He studied information technology before completing his bachelor’s degree in business management. Now he is doing a master’s in online communications. Timo is 29 and a trained digital and print media designer. After his studies, he completed his bachelor’s degree in communications and multimedia management at Dusseldorf University of Applied Sciences and is now completing a master’s.
Expanding the trial
While the ‘first generation’ focused mostly on the technology within their own four walls, we’re now taking the project outside, too. Coup e-scooters are on the agenda. This experience report – and many more – can be found on the flat-share blog.
The smart flat-share is a cooperation between Deutsche Wohnen, the Institute of Electronic Business and iHaus AG. More information about our smart flat-share can be found in our section ‘Living in transition’.