Residents in new downsizer-friendly communities are now able to use smart technology solutions to improve their sleep, purify their air, avoid medical emergencies and even stop their furniture from becoming faded.

Downsizing.com.au has prepared a list of some of the most amazing technology initiatives in properties available on our website.

Wellness enhancing technology (Parc Apartments in southern Sydney)

The two and three-bedroom apartments at Parc Apartments in the Sydney suburb of Blakehurst tick all the boxes for quality design and a great parkside location. 

But it’s what lies within the walls that really sets the development apart.

The project includes the DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence system, which includes:

  • A lighting system which seeks to enhance sleep, productivity and energy levels, by mimicking natural sunlight and darkness patterns to influence a healthy sleep-wake cycle.

  • An air purification system which helps to improve air quality by removing allergens, toxins, pathogens, pollen and odours from the air. 

  • A water filtration system to improve water quality, including by removing unwanted contaminants such as lead and chlorine.

The project’s wellness intelligence system even automatically closes the blackout blinds in your bedroom before you go to sleep, to stop unwanted light intrusion. 

As morning approaches, the lights can also be programmed to follow a “dawn simulation”, which is said to be “inspired by nature’s sunrise, to help you feel refreshed in the morning.”

External artist's impression of Parc apartments in Sydney's south

Autonomous vehicle (Elliot Gardens retirement village in Adelaide)

Downsizers at Elliot Gardens retirement village south of Adelaide are tapping into digital innovation in a most unexpected form.

The village recently became home to Australia’s first driverless mobility vehicle, which residents nicknamed ‘Elliot the Pod’ by popular vote.

Designed by Aurrigo, a leading manufacturer of driverless vehicle technologies, Elliot is believed to be a ‘world first’ in driverless technology for seniors. 

Up to four passengers can travel in the battery-powered vehicle, which has speeds of up to 10km/h and is guided by multiple sensors to follow a set route between 9am-4pm.

To take a gentle spin around the 27 hectare village, any resident can hail Elliot at the community centre or, when it is passing, by SMS or phone.

Tony Randello, Managing Director, Lendlease Retirement Living said: “We are constantly looking for ways to make our villages more liveable which is why we’re tremendously excited to be participating in this trial.”

“This trial may show us how technology could extend mobility and help our resident’s age in place, among friends and providing them a sense of freedom and independence."

Medical technology (The Avenue Maroochydore on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast)

In Queensland, The Avenue Maroochydore is a 49-apartment retirement community that harnesses technology which allows downsizers to enjoy independent living for longer.

The developer, Aura Holdings, has partnered with Eevi, a provider of discreet medical alarms and emergency response technology, to provide personal safety options that are easy to use, yet unobtrusive.  

A Samsung Gear Watch, which looks like a premium timepiece, includes GPS for locating residents in an emergency and a two-way voice speaker for instant communication.  A pendant-style 4G medical alarm worn around the neck is also available allowing the wearer instant contact for assistance in an emergency.

Automating comfort (Scape apartments in Sydney’s south)

The Scape apartments at Cronulla in Sydney’s south combine quality design with proximity to the buzz of Cronulla’s beachfront. 

Here too, technology plays a role in home comfort.

The apartments allow residents to manage their intercom, alarm, blinds, air conditioning, fireplace, television and sound system either via an in-apartment control panel or, if away from home, on their mobile phone.

The project, by Plank Developments, also includes other innovations, including sensors which withdraw external sun shade blinds during times of high wind, to stop them from being damaged. 

In addition, roof top solar panels provide power to the common areas, and ground floor gardens are watered via a rainwater tank system.

Interior shot of Scape apartments at Cronulla

Voice-activated appliances and fall detection sensors (Cardinal Freeman Village in Sydney’s inner west)

For Sydneysiders, Cardinal Freeman, The Residences at Ashfield, blends outstanding design with futuristic features that encourage independent living.

In the village's new smart apartment, residents have the option to play music, operate lights, blinds, appliances and much more, all with simple voice commands via a Google Hub. 

For instance, a command such as ‘good morning’ has the potential to start a sequence of pre-programmed events, such as opening the blinds, starting the kettle and receiving a weather update – all before even getting out of bed.

To allow for additional safety and support functions, the smart home has been fitted out with sensors. 

If a resident falls in their bathroom, for instance, the sensors can be programmed to alert emergency services or a family member if the door is not opened after a certain period of time. 

Similarly, the sensors can be used to monitor medication cabinets and can send notifications to remind residents to access it. 

Residents also have the potential to save 10 to 15 per cent on their energy bills with the smart home through a self-regulating temperature control system. 

Smart apartment at Cardinal Freeman village

Smart home technology (ONE Palm Beach on the Gold Coast)

For downsizers planning on enjoying the Gold Coast lifestyle, ONE Palm Beach uses smart technology to automate home comfort. Residents can use an app-operated system to control lighting and blinds, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, alarms, and even some household appliances.

The technology is not just clever, it’s also tailored to residents’ living preferences.  

For example, the window treatment controls at ONE Palm Beach include theme and memory settings to program blinds or curtains to rise and drop at different times of day. This can protect furniture and upholstery from the glare of sunlight, or provide additional home security reassurance for residents heading off on vacation.

The KNX technology at ONE Palm Beach lets residents access the building – and their apartment – using a PIN code rather than a traditional key, with the option for family members to be assigned a PIN of their own. 

Apartment at ONE Palm Beach