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Homecoming of the future

Smart living is the new normal. It is being defined by flexibility and convenience. KONE has been studying everyday challenges in urban residential environments and is addressing them with new solutions that are functional, efficient and adaptive. Here’s how.

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Text: Ronak Kotecha

Ever had your family or friends waiting outside your door because you couldn’t make it home in time to let them in? Or had to rush home to receive a delivery? KONE Residential Flow takes the stress out of these everyday situations and makes arriving home more intuitive.

To do this, KONE’s service design team conducted extensive research to better understand the needs and requirements of the urban environment. Last year, the team interviewed over 200 people in four European cities to learn about the challenges people face in and around their homes.

The findings were intriguing, to say the least. For instance, many respondents in the Netherlands and Germany complained about door intercoms, which were apparently so bad that ‘you never knew who was at the door’. Another pain point that came up quite often was the eternal search for home keys while carrying groceries – and possibly guiding a couple of children and a dog through the door on the side.

The KONE team quickly realized that most concerns revolved primarily around residents’ access to their homes, and access to information about their buildings.

It was observed that people in France, the Netherlands and Germany enter their homes in very different ways. While in Paris, coming home often begins with the opening of a gate and a walk through a garden to the lobby door, the residents of Rotterdam and Amsterdam, where a strong cycling culture impacts people's everyday urban journeys, enter apartment buildings through the back door for easier access to bicycle storage.

Residents of Berlin, on the other hand, tend to carry their bicycles up to their apartments or down to basements because half-floors without elevator stops are very common in residential buildings.

All these insights and working together with our customers led to the creation of the KONE Residential Flow solution.

The whole package

KONE Visit allows you to provide your visitors with the same benefits, including a connected intercom system that allows residents to greet guests and grant them access using their smartphone. The elevator will then automatically take them to their destination floor.

Residents will also be to grant access remotely, which is very useful for situations like parcel deliveries. There is also an option to create temporary electronic keys which can be given to family members and friends. For people with their apartments listed on Airbnb, the kind of convenience this offers, is unmatched.

And last, but not the least, the KONE Information package allows residents to stay updated with all the must-have and right-on-time information related to their building. Thanks to smartphone push messages, and info screens in the lobby and in the elevators, residents will always know if their water supply is going to be disrupted, or if any renovation or repair work has been scheduled.

Apart from convenience, using innovative solutions like these also translates into real value for the building in the long-term. Utilizing the newest technology will also help make buildings smarter and more responsive, and thus more attractive to potential buyers and tenants. Talk about a complete package.