August 18, 2016

The homes of tomorrow and how digital solutions take us there

Linnéa Källgård

UX strategist and designer, Tieto

Together with the tenants in HSB Living Lab, we are investigating opportunities and solutions for the homes of tomorrow. Everyone who is taking part in the project is very enthusiastic and that probably makes us more open to new ways of doing things than the average person. That’s why it’s interesting to see the results in the study carried out by SIFO, where we asked the Swedish people what they want from the future living. The way forward goes through practical and intelligent digital solutions.

As many as 60 percent of the respondents in the survey said that their main priority is sustainable solutions. Inspiring architecture and modern interior lagged far behind, with only 13 and 4 percent of people respectively saying that these aesthetic factors were important.

These responses show that we know what our priorities should be for the future. However, we are currently spending our money on exactly the opposite. We build larger terraces, buy more barbecues – more of everything and it has to be new and smart. There is thus a mismatch between what we want and how we act. So how can we make the necessary changes and get closer to what we consider important for the homes of tomorrow, right here and now?

Discovering the benefits and introducing digital solutions

The essential factor is to identify the real benefits for users and through digitalization facilitate everyday life. By starting from the residents' needs, we can develop digital solutions which are so practical and natural for us to use, that we don’t want to be without them. Robotic lawnmowers are a good example of how the benefits for users have been identified and the digital solution has been successful for that very reason. Another example is digital keys, which are currently being evaluated on the market. It offers people the freedom and possibility of controlling their front doors remotely, so that they can let other people in and out of their home without needing to be there in person. This makes everyday life easier and people no longer need to worry about handing over their house keys to someone they don't know. 

The HSB Living Lab allows research to be carried out into the homes of tomorrow in a real-life environment, not just together with but also thanks to the residents of the house. By interacting with the residents, we can test and assess their behaviour in the home. Using sensors we can easily review the effects of the measures we have taken and constantly evaluate the progress that the house is making. Did the timer in the shower help to reduce water consumption? What is the best thing to do with a certain area in the house that no one is using? It’s a living process without a fixed framework.

We test and find solutions, or we fail and try something new. Every day in the project is one step closer to identifying which key factors in everyday life can be exchanged to digital solutions, in order to improve our quality of life and make us prioritize in practice what we want in theory.

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Find out more about the HSB Living Lab project

Take part in the survey here (in Swedish)

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