New Products, Services and Technologies to Watch – 2022

February 2022

Each year Toronto Condo News attends PM (Property Management) Expo looking for new products, services and technologies with the potential to benefit condominium and high-rise communities.

This year’s crop of innovations is exciting and full of promise.  We’ll be watching to learn which are embraced by local high-rise communities.

Smartglass has evolved and is now a practical consideration for high-rise communities. The product offered by Smartglasscan automatically turns opaque at the touch of a wall switch which makes it practical for various uses.  In the home, a glass wall provides sunlight in spaces normally inaccessible to daylight such as a bathroom or den.  The wall can be made opaque to provide complete privacy.  Common areas can utilize a glass meeting or video room wall in place of a screen for virtual or remote meetings, or viewing sporting events.  Outer walls can be made opaque for complete privacy without blinds or window coverings.

Health and Wellness Screening is fully automated by Eaigle.  The company has developed a unit that automates wellness screening and vaccine verification for employees, vendors and visitors utilizing artificial intelligence technology.  It incorporates a barcode scanner, printer, hand sanitizer, thermal camera and access card/fob reader.  Internal voice recognition and motion detection simplifies and speeds up interactions.  The unit asks required questions and stores responses while a thermal scanner automatically takes the individual’s body temperature.  An ID Pass or fob speeds up the process by allowing the unit to recognize regular visitors.  People counting technology can control access.  Reporting and analytics allow management to be aware of system findings.

Condominium building management with a focus on security is provided by Home Automation Depot and their suite of integrated products.  CyberSuite is an integrated software package for building management centered around security that integrates with electronic door and water detection systems.  Their electronic door and lock systems are designed for high-rise communities.  Residents can open all building doors using their smartphone or an electronic fob with key access available should there be a power failure.  All system controls, notifications and warnings are managed through CyberSuite.  Water detection systems, also managed through CyberSuite, inform management and residents if water is detected.

As buildings age, that once-modern intercom system is outdated.  The system, which may only work with landlines, is physically wired to each unit so can be expensive to repair.  With so many now relying on mobile phones rather than a landline, many building residents no longer utilize the system.  Hive, by InLight Solutions, offers a smart video intercom system (wireless) suited to replacing aging systems that are hardwired to each suite. Hive allows video connections from the intercom to any electronic device.  Each unit resident can be separately listed in the directory.  Hive incorporates all the features of older wired systems plus modern enhancements such as video.   Installation costs begin at $5,000.  Ongoing system maintenance costs are reduced and an optional monthly fee of $4 per month provides system support and replacement of failing systems.

For condominium managers that manage multiple properties, VendorPM offers what they claim to be a more efficient way to seek out vendors and obtain proposals.  The product appears more suitable for property management companies than condominium corporations.

Storage is simplified by offerings from Five At Heart.  The company offers storage and working solutions for high rise communities that include bicycle storage, office pods and office storage designed for common areas.