"Hey, Siri! Lower the bed!"
This is how future New York apartment owners' everyday house command would look like as leveled up robotic and smart home feature is now gaining popularity in NYC pads.
According to the New York Post, at least three condominium buildings in the Big Apple now offer a robotic system that embraces small-space living. With just the use of a touchpad, a smartphone, or a voice command, the high-tech system can reveal and conceal beds, closets, and desks.
Aside from providing creative and state-of-the-art storage, this trendy robotic system also allows tiny apartment owners the illusion of living in a spacious unit.
A New York development located at 158 E. 126th St. in East Harlem now offers a system called "The Smile" designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. The mechanism is from Bumblebee - a San Francisco-based company that provides modular fixtures to save space.
Out of the 163 market-rate units in the building, five units (4 studio type and 1 one-bedroom) is now offering the option to include "The Smile" in their units. One of the 470-square-foot studios has installed the system through the ceiling-anchored mechanism. Using the Bumblebee system, the unit owner can raise or lower their bed, wardrobe, and storage using smartphone or voice command.
"The vision of Bumblebee has always been to make beautifully efficient space, so it becomes affordable," Bumblebee CEO and co-founder Sankarshan Murthy said.
"You're not paying for two or three rooms that you're not using all the time, but you're getting the rooms whenever you want," he added.
Interestingly, the Bumblebee system is designed by former Apple and Tesla engineers. It relies on the layout in cubic spaces to maximize the use of the ceiling. The robotic feature also uses software that catalogs stored-away items to be summoned on demand.
"It shouldn't feel like you're living in a closet with Murphy beds," Murthy said.
"I want to live in a place that is futuristic, that feels like Ironman's house, that changes based on [what you] ask," he added.
Of course, the modern, space-efficient, and sophisticated system comes with a hefty price tag. A unit powered by The Smile has an asking price of $2,663 monthly rental fee, inclusive of concessions (current offer: four months free when you avail 16-months lease).
If you opt to get the unit without the robotic/ smart home feature, the 495-square-foot studio costs $2,171 net-effective monthly rent. It only means that the automated studio is slightly cheaper than a unit without the Bumblebee system.
Meanwhile, in Long Island City, an 801-unit Skyline Tower condominium now offers an option to install Cloud Bed and Pocket Closet system. The robotic feature is designed by Ori - a company championing space-saving transformable furniture.
Just like The Smile, the Cloud Bed raises and lowers the bed from the ceiling, while the Pocket Closet reveals a walk-in closet that slides across the floor. It features retractable hangers behind a television console. Both robotic features operate through a touchpad, smartphone, or voice command.