Can you imagine how life was before the digital age and the internet? For some millennials and Gen Zers or Zoomers, life without the all-important gizmo called the computer or the mobile phone would perhaps be unimaginable.
Today, can you imagine a home without internet connectivity?
“Not during this pandemic when we’re confined at home and we do almost everything from home,” declares Michelle Ysmael-Ora, Globe Telecom head of strategic property business development at the Lamudi Outlook 2021 roundtable talk on “The rise of intelligent homes: Reshaping the modern Filipino home.”
“We used to go out, go to work, go to the gym, dine out. Now, we’re just here at home, but because of connectivity, we’re still able to do a lot of these things at home.”
Fact is, telecom has been one of the busiest industries since the lockdown. “We have to keep up with the demands of our consumers in providing fast and reliable internet services when they’re doing their groceries, consultations with doctors online or mobile banking,” said Debbie Obias, Globe Telecom head of business development and new business.
Ysmael-Ora also urged LGUs to deploy effective technology to contain the pandemic. “Telecom companies should ensure fast mobile and broadband connection to allow people to reinvent their homes and allow us to survive, even thrive, during this pandemic.”
With the work-from-home new normal, Ysmael-Ora says there’s a demand not just for integrated communities but for interconnected and intelligent communities.
Caught in the swirling tempest of change, we’ve come to realize the difference technology has made in our lives. “We’re able to do things in a fast, efficient manner,” Obias said.
“We see that companies will embrace the work-from-home scheme. Online learning is here to stay. People will still utilize online food, grocery deliveries. Online shopping will not stop. Mobile banking and payment will be the norm. People will avail themselves of online medical consultations. They will be attending spin classes through Zoom. A lot of people now have Netflix, they can’t live without the streaming videos, YouTube, which will probably replace watching TV.”
Property players have also changed their offerings. “Some property managers are possibly considering contactless elevator buttons that can be controlled by an app or voice, for people concerned about their safety and health,” Obias said.
Enter the ‘space’ age
Rouen Raz, DataLand VP for sales and marketing, agreed.
“With the pandemic, there’s a shift and we’re now rethinking our future projects. This is where Globe (and other telecom companies) can come in. If you look at what the market wants, they want more open space, gardens…We’re now looking at smart office towers, which will be dependent on the availability and the cost of these smartphones.”
In all, people who buy property look for three things: power, water, and internet—the basic requirements in future-proofing your home.
Fiber for a healthy lifestyle
Obias zeroes in on the importance of Fiber (broadband) in today’s frenetic lifestyle, “One of the things we’re really trying to do is to influence not just the real estate sector but also the government to have that digital mindset, to enable everybody in the ecosystem to enjoy and to have the solutions needed for every type of customer, for every type of lifestyle. In fact, in other countries, it is a must for every building, every development, to have Fiber ready at the onset.
One of the game-changing things we have done so far with our partners is not just to have Fiber-ready developments but to really ensure they’re built in with broadband before these are turned over to the unit owners.”
So, how soon do you think smart homes will be the new normal for Filipinos?
Probably faster than we can say “intelligent”!