Singapore’s smart nation initiative has positioned many exciting initiatives that integrate technology to improve our lives. Along with this growth, homeowners are getting comfortable with smart home technologies becoming mainstream.
Smart home revenues are projected to grow from $119 million USD to $174 million USD between 2019 to 2023. The race towards making every device at home smart and communicable with homeowners opens up exciting possibilities.
These numbers are encouraging and a clear sign that the trend of Singaporeans adopting new iterations of smart home technologies for a better quality of life will persist. The improvements that the modern homeowner can look forward to are convenience and accessibility, and a healthier environment.
The link between real world intelligence and ad-blocking
The focus on smart home technologies has always been device-centric in aiding convenience and accessibility. However, we believe there is an aspect of the home that has normally been looked upon as “low-tech”, that can play a significant role in creating a healthier environment and more for every home.
Between Ryan’s (my co-founder) asthma, and my sinus, we realised that respiratory health issues affected everyone significantly. The haze season worsens the situation, a painful, seasonal affair that has spawned an in-depth FAQ from the Singaporean Ministry Of Health. Air-purifiers and masks were an expensive way forward, and a reactive approach to the problem.
We began to dig deeper and we learned that 5% of adults and 20% of children suffer from asthma alone in Singapore, and that indoor air pollution can be many times worse than outdoor pollution, and we spent up more than 80% of our time indoors.
With walls covering most of the indoor surface area for the places we spend so much time in, an idea occurred to us – our paint should work harder and do more for us.
Asides from the usual approach and understanding that the colour of rooms can affect moods, and bring out the aesthetic in materials at home, paint covers a large area in homes. Using a 2-coat painting system, a liter of paint can cover up to 10 square meters, and an average house in Singapore can use up to 45 liters of paint for full coverage.
By transforming an otherwise traditional material into an advanced material, we can expect a huge potential in expanding the utility and value that paint brings to our homes. Here are some of the ways that we envision the paints in the future will improve the quality of our health and lives.
Paints with no VOCs
Along with the smell of fresh paint are harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), VOCs are found in many household items and can have compounding health effects such as headaches in the short-term, and stunted development in children in the long-term. VOCs are also 10 times more potent indoors. Though safety and health regulations for paint has come a long way since the lead paint ban in 1978, the popularity of lead-based paint has resulted in painters stockpiling it, potentially leaving a mark on properties more recent than 1978.
The market is leaning towards low, and no-VOC paint. In the near future, no-VOC paints will be the standard.
Paint will be the first line of defense
Though we are fortunate to have good air quality, and NEA is vigilant in reducing air pollution, we are still plagued by the haze, with news reports predicting a significant risk of a “severe haze” this year.
Masks and air-purifiers combat poor air qualitythe sheer surface area of painted surfaces can become the first line of defence, and an effective passive solution. By eliminating the pollutants and particles by neutralising them, or breaking them down, paint can be the first line of defence for homeowners and their families, reducing the presence of other sources of harmful VOCs that are found at home.
In the near future, we will see paint encompass a wide range of protective properties, that include disease management, and allergy preventions.
Paint will help de-odourise and regulate the home environment
Singapore has a rich culture of food and cuisine, which comes with its own snags. When it comes to odours, durian is the top, divisive contender that is popular among Singaporeans. Strong and pungent enough to trigger emergency services in an Australian university library, the distinctive smell of durian can be strong and lasting.
Paint can play a part by eliminating odourus molecules, making kitchens and dining areas pleasant for homeowners. Keeping in mind that Singapore is one of the most humid countries in the region, paint can have anti-moulding properties and help homeowners facing with moisture-related issues with wicking properties.
In the near future, we will see paint capable of maintaining the indoor environment for the desired temperature; hot or cold, as well as humidity for optimal comfort.
Paint will lead the conversation to re-think traditional materials
With technology improving the states of our homes, the benchmark of the home of the future will not be decided purely on digital capabilities and connectivity.
In the near future, the benefits and possibilities that our household paint provides will encourage the integration of advanced materials and to bring other “low tech” components in homes up to speed.
This post was contributed by Lester Leong, Co-founder of gush.
About Lester Leong
Lester is the co-founder of gush (LivinWall Pte. Ltd.) and oversees anything to do with finance, legal, marketing, HR and continually explores opportunities for corporate business development, both locally and regionally. He has been pivotal in ensuring the company’s sustainable growth and transformation into one of the rising advanced materials companies in the region. Under his leadership, gush has won many startup competitions across local IHLs like NUS, NTU and SMU and managed to secure funding from City Developments Limited (CDL), one of the forerunners in sustainable developments as well as a property and hotel conglomerate.
Beyond his work in gush, Lester participates actively as a committee member of the Youth Business Affairs Committee (YBAC), Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI). He also has had substantial experience in investment and Islamic banking as well as in other start-ups.
A graduate of NUS Business School, Lester is also an extremely curious individual and is looking to start learning his fifth language to prepare himself for gush’s regional expansion.