As hygiene becomes more top-of-mind in light of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, hands-free smart toilets and faucets may move up on residential wish lists.
Those are just two of the many technological innovations Tridel is spotlighting in a futuristic, 68th-floor suite with sweeping views of downtown Toronto and Lake Ontario at its Ten York condominium tower.
“We wanted to use this space to see what the future could hold,” Tridel marketing vice-president Samson Fung told RENX during a recent tour of the innovation suite. “We really wanted to push the boundaries and see what we could do.”
The TridelConnect smart home technology platform is already a standard feature in most new Tridel condos, but products and services found in the innovation suite take things a step further.
Focus on convenience and design
Four wireless charging pads throughout the suite make access to device power consistent and convenient.
Centralized lighting, audio-visuals, motorized blinds, mirrors and shower temperature and flow rate are among the things that can be activated and programmed by voice control to customize experiences.
Cooking and meal preparation is made easier with smart appliances and plumbing fixtures controlled by a mobile application.
To put it in better perspective: the stove can be pre-heated from the couch; the fridge can tell you when you’re running low on groceries; and the kitchen sink can pour its own glass of water.
The master bedroom features a glass partition which transitions from opaque to transparent with the touch of a button, offering opportunities to enjoy natural light or disconnect in privacy.
An entertainment wall provides a smart television system along with an electric fireplace that uses mist and special lighting to create realistic-looking flames.
Locally sourced oak floors are coated in titanium oxide that’s activated by light and motion to regularly filter and clean the air in the suite.
Creating a “connective living experience”
Tridel innovation and sustainability director Adrian Wang said the developer approached vendors it thought were aligned with the company’s vision of creating a “connective living experience” when sourcing products for the innovation suite.
“We didn’t want technology to be the main story,” said Fung. “We wanted to seamlessly integrate technology with your lifestyle and really just make it about convenience.
“Technology is there to enhance your life, not become your life.”
Fung said some of these innovations haven’t yet come on the market – or have just recently been introduced. Many of them also promote sustainability and environmentalism as well as being efficient and aesthetically pleasing.
“A lot of these companies are in many ways even more progressive than us, because they exist outside of the North American market,” said Wang.
“When you venture into Europe and Asia, they’re much more sustainably minded there because electricity prices can be a lot higher and taxes can be a lot higher.
“That really drives that kind of growth and innovation that we see in this product lineup.”
Ten York and the innovation suite’s future
Fung said Tridel is exploring which innovations can be introduced as either standard or upgrade options in the future.
Fung said the two-bedroom, three-bathroom innovation suite will at some point “be sold as-is with a very large instruction manual telling you how to do everything. But, for now we’re going to use it as a way to showcase Tridel’s ability to do innovation and show some of the new things we can do with condos.”
There are more than 700 suites in the 69-storey Ten York, which was completed in 2018.
Fung said, aside from the innovation suite, there were four units still available that are more than 2,000 square feet and in the $3-million price range.
Innovation suite features
Here’s a comprehensive look at what Tridel’s innovation suite includes:
* two Crestron wall panels that can be used directly or through voice activation to control lighting, shade, audio and more;
* speakers hidden in the ceiling;
* motorized blinds that can be activated by voice or switches with settings based on sunlight throughout the day, or for certain activities like watching television;
* wireless charging pads in the bedrooms, den and living room;
* an ultra short-throw laser projector;
* a touchpad-controlled toilet with built-in speakers to play music, a heated seat and foot warmer, automated seat and cover, and a built-in bidet;
* an invisibly wired, Ultra HD smart television that, when not in use, is disguised as framed artwork selected by the resident;
* an electric mist fireplace that uses mist and special lighting to create realistic-looking flames;
* transitional glass which can make the master bedroom, walk-in closet and en suite bathroom open-concept or private depending on whether it’s set to clear or opaque;
* a heated floor in the master en suite bathroom that has its temperature controlled by smartphone;
* waterproof membrane installed behind the tile of the master en suite bathroom shower and tub that protects against vapour;
* a VibrAcoustic bathtub connected to the suite’s audio-visual system that uses sound wave vibration to enable the user to feel music;
* a shower where the water can be turned on and off, with the temperature and flow rate controlled by voice command, and featuring a concealed Schluter Systems drain and oversized rain shower head;
* a smart mirror with lighting, TV, Internet and touch screen that can be controlled by a keyboard or voice commands;
* another smart mirror that responds to voice commands to adjust light levels and uses Alexa to answer questions and provide news updates;
* a clothes steamer for which steaming cycles can be customized by smartphone;
* a combination washer/dryer, so there’s no need to reload from one to the other, that can be operated by a smartphone app;
* and a high-efficiency, low-voltage, cordless vacuum where everything sucked up goes into a centralized container in the laundry room.
EDITOR’S NOTE: RENX toured the innovation suite in early March, before current concerns and restrictions concerning the COVID-19 virus were raised and enacted. Like our valued readers, we’re abiding by all guidelines and recommendations to slow the spread of the virus, including practices such as working from home and social distancing.