Smooth and easy everyday life, convenient moving, flexible services, healthiness, safety and eco-friendliness. These are the words specialists use to describe our future. We hope it’ll arrive soon!
Smartpost, SmartLiving and Residential Flow. The names alone associated with living services tell of a smart and easy future. YIT is implementing living services in pilot projects carried out in co-operation with Posti Group, Fortum, KONE Corporation and Kauppahalli 24.
“YIT wants to advance things that make everyday life easier,” says Pekka Helin, YIT’s Senior Vice President in charge of Living Services.
Making everyday life easier is the sum of many things. It involves everything from urbanisation, digitalisation and a sense of community to a sharing economy and demanding customers. The perception at Fortum, for example, is that important trends include urbanisation and an increase in the end-user’s decision-making power.
“Uniform homes and the related services no longer meet people’s needs,” says Sakari Aulanko, Development Manager at Fortum’s SmartLiving unit.
Teppo Voutilainen, Head of KONE’s New Services and Solutions Division, agrees. KONE is approaching the future by lending an ear to its customers in small group discussions held in 10 countries.
“People need different kinds of solutions to ease up their everyday life. It’s our job to think about the ways in which a house can respond to people’s changing needs,” says Voutilainen.
According to Toni Laaksonen, Vice President in charge of Parcel Services at Posti Group, people want to save time.
“Services have moved closer to people all the time. We live a 24/7 life, and our services must adjust to it. Opening hours from 9 to 5 no longer cut it.”
The concept of shopping has already changed. Veijo Heinonen, Managing Director of Kauppahalli24, gives an example:
“When I told my son that we should go and buy him a pair of football trainers, I started to pull on my jacket, whereas he headed for his computer.”
Talking fridge or a household stock management system?
When specialists envision the future 20 years from now, they do so cautiously.
“We tend to easily overestimate events in the near future, while underestimating changes farther down the road,” says Aulanko.
The prevailing belief at Fortum is that future building automation systems will work in such a way that homes take care of both themselves and their occupants.
“Ventilation, heat and lights will be smart. They turn themselves down if there are fewer people in the home or if the sun is shining through the windows. The home’s humidity and carbon dioxide levels are managed automatically,” says Rami Piik, Vice President of Smart Home Solutions at Fortum.
Voutilainen describes how people’s movement will become increasingly tailored in the future.
“Lifts and escalators, for instance, will recognise you and be able to function according to your wishes at home, in the office and in shopping malls. You won’t need keys, instead of which doors will remain open for precisely the time you want them to. If your eyesight has grown poor, the font on the info screen in the staircase will grow bigger.”
Laaksonen believes that the online buying of various services is already well on its way into the mainstream.
“Services, recycling, repair and maintenance – they’re also being bought digitally and wanted in homes. When the service experience is good, people will start using the new services,” he says.
According to Kauppahallis24’s Managing Director Heinonen, a number of solutions are being tested in terms of the bottlenecks of online shopping.
“Unmanned distribution robots, the organisation of distribution traffic in cities and Posti’s lockers in staircases are already good steps towards the home as a terminal to which services and products can arrive effortlessly.”
According to Heinonen, many future solutions are seen as too complex.
“Take the idea of products that you’re about to run out of being delivered to your doorstep automatically – it doesn’t require a talking fridge. When you approach this issue from the perspective of a household stock management system, you notice that existing IT applications are already perfectly capable of getting the necessary products to your fridge,” he says.
Why isn’t the future already here?
According to Helin, living services are already available, but their fragmentation makes them difficult to manage.
“We need one functioning ecosystem from which services are convenient to get. Only then will our everyday lives become easier.”
Helin continues by remarking that the birth of an ecosystem requires partnerships.
“It may require everyone to give in a little, and to tear down old structures and come up with inventive new ways. The winner will be whoever it is who provides people with easily manageable new ways.”
Fortum also takes the view that the future will take off through easiness.
“We consider homes our sanctuaries, and not all of us think that introducing technology there is a given. The services have to make people’s lives easier. So far, we’ve approached this by putting a technology or a device first,” says Piik.
According to Voutilainen, people must be provided with the possibility to decide whether they wish to take the services into use or not.
“Companies also need to remain constantly vigilant, and ask people what they want. The selection on offer is developing all the time and the changes are fast.”
Heinonen thinks that we should open up the entire concept of home.
“Services have made their way into the everyday lives of Finns before: shoemakers and tailors used to travel from house to house and people exchanged products and services. A sense of community is rising again,” he says.
YIT and Living Services
YIT is working in co-operation with Posti Group, Fortum, KONE Corporation and Kauppahalli 24:
SmartLiving is Fortum’s cloud service, in which residents can monitor the energy consumption of their homes in real-time, for example, and adjust indoor temperatures, receive alerts on any possible water leakages, and book sauna times or charging stations for electric cars. YIT is introducing the SmartLiving service for the first time at As. Oy Espoon Klovniseppä.
KONE Residential Flow is KONE’s solution designed for residential buildings. The solution makes residents’ movement within their building easier by giving them the chance to operate the building’s outer doors, lifts and apartment intercoms with their smartphones. YIT is piloting the project in the residential buildings of the Kangas neighbourhood in the city of Jyväskylä.
Posti Group’s Smartpost service allows people to receive and return online purchases by way of parcel lockers located in the staircases of their building. Through Kauppahalli24, people can also order food delivered to the lockers. The lockers are located in an apartment building’s own premises and are the residents’ disposal around the clock. In the future, YIT will install Smartpost lockers in all of its new apartment buildings, where possible. The first lockers were installed in As. Oy Loimu, as well as in As. Oy Tuike and Kajo, all located in the neighbourhood of Tuomarila, Espoo. The lockers were taken into use in June 2017.
Pekka Helin, Senior Vice President, Living Services development programme, YIT Group, tel. +358 40 588 8135, email@example.com
Hanna Malmivaara, Vice President, Communications, YIT Corporation, tel. +358 40 561 6568, firstname.lastname@example.org
YIT creates a better living environment by developing and constructing housing, business premises, infrastructure and entire areas. Our vision is to bring more life into sustainable cities. We want to focus on caring for customers, visionary urban development, passionate execution and inspiring leadership. Our growth engine is urban development involving partners. Our operating area covers Finland, Russia, the Baltic countries, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. In 2016, our revenue amounted to nearly EUR 1.8 billion, and we employ about 5,300 people. Our share is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. www.yitgroup.com