The property industry has always adopted technology but the scope is endless writes David Aubrey

Long before the advent of mobile phones, surround sound and cars reliant on computer chips, the humble home has been subject to advances in technology which until the 1980s, largely focused on what was put in the home, not how it was designed, built, bought and sold.

The very first and most famous world fair known as The Great Exhibition was held in London in 1851 and is acknowledge as the first public exhibition that involved innovation in housing technology. For years, inventors and designers have been working at modernising housing, like the boffins at MIT.

Their plastic modular home (pictured) was easy to clean as it could be hosed down! Now, savvy buyers are seeking properties that offer something extra be it streamline building processes, advanced cooling and heating techniques, wireless options or technology that reduces the time spent in domesticity.

Technology inside the home:
• In 1956 the iconic film Design for Dreaming featured a woman dreaming about the kitchen of the future – a Frigidaire kitchen which was centrally controlled via a computer screen – imagine!
• The Japanese have a toilet bowl which self flushes, self cleans, self deodorizes and is able to detect infections and diabetes;
• US company Powerhouse Dynamics has produced a home energy management system that advises where to reduce costs, when to service and repair and when it is more economic to throw out and buy new appliances;                                                                                                  
• The Germans have invented a one-armed three-fingered robot that can pour drinks and operate cleaning and kitchen machinery. It is like having your own ‘Rosie’ from The Jetsons.
Technology in construction:
Technical advances mean that buildings can be produced quicker, cheaper and with improved security, fire and energy ratings.
• Chinese global conglomerate CIMC can build an apartment, deliver it to a site in Australia and install it by hoisting it by crane off a flat bed truck. This is a fully equipped home with linen and cutlery;
• Buyers and sellers interact 24/7 online;
• You can look at a virtual property or design online and ‘walk’ through each room;
• Houses for sale often have their own video;
• You can design and build your own home – numerous websites are dedicated to enabling Joe Average to become ‘architect/ designer’;
• Furnish your whole home by buying online;
• Take an Owner Builder course online; and the list goes on!

Good to see the world of property is adopting the world of ‘Geek’. The possibilities are endless.