Tiny Houses Take to the Road


The swing back towards urban living has developers designing smaller units. Tiny Houses are becoming mainstream with no sign of slowing down; so it’s no surprise they’ve taken to the road. We’ve become infatuated with shows like Extreme Small Spaces, Tiny House Nation, Small Spaces, Big Style. It’s like watching an accident- you can’t turn away; all the time wondering how the heck a family of four is going to live, work, sleep, eat and bath in a 300 square foot house on wheels- we have to watch to see how they do it.

The rise of digital technology has made the home smart.  We now have remote control over our environment, from climate to safety and health and wellness. When I spotted this tricked out Airstream, I knew that these two trends were converging. The 400 square foot trailer is owned by a Seattle marketing exec as his second home. The tweak with this “tiny house” is that it’s equipped with smart technology and connected via products by Wink, an app and platform that facilitates communication between home tech wares from a host of manufacturers.

On what the system does for him:

For one, having an ecosystem of smart home products for a variety of functions provides a sense of security when he isn’t at the trailer. But when he is using it, he has sensors that keep track of the Airstream’s propane levels; “robots” to turn lights on and off; and one-button access to controls for lights and security cameras, etc. through the Wink app on his phone. Monitoring propane levels remotely is especially handy in the winter when plumbing and pipes need to be kept moderately warm to prevent freezing.

2015-1024_Wink_Philips HUE

Phillips Hue lighting in the trailer is controlled by Wink


On the challenges of a mobile Smart House:

First, he installed Wi-Fi for the trailer using air cards, which provide Internet access over a cellular network. He chose Wink to connect all the elements of his system because it presented a “lightweight” alternative to other, hardwired options for monitoring his Airstream while he is away from the trailer. The biggest challenge was finding a security company. Most of the companies he called simply couldn’t install their products in the Airstream because, well, it moves. “No one does it, because of liabilities about location and police access” in an emergency.

“The Wink system extends the modern interior experience beyond NYC or LA or Seattle and brings it to the great outdoors. “  When it comes to living in an automated home, “more and more people’s expectations are that, ‘oh, this is how it should be.'”

So it’s only natural to expect that the next step should be mobile smart homes.



images via Curbed





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