Digital modules on the rise

We will bring a whole new form of housing to the market, promises Munich-based construction project developer SEMODU. The key is integrating digital products into modular construction and building with these prefabricated systems. The combination of the two opens up completely new living options that make everyday life easier for residents.

A young couple – a small argument about how the furnishings of the new apartment should look: He wants to put a huge TV screen on the big wall. She wants to turn the wall into a large social media wall, displaying the latest posts from her friends. The trick: both are possible. In the blink of an eye, the flexible living room wall becomes one part TV, one part Instagram channel, one part concrete wall, one part brick wall. The world of digitization opens up completely new scope for the design and use of one’s own four walls. Even tables can become hotplates for fresh coffee. Welcome to the living of the future!

The couple can still only be seen in the company video on the project developer’s website. But soon it could actually be like this in a German apartment, if SEMODU and IT advisory board member Friedhelm Schmitt have their way: “Digitalization always prevails where it makes everyday life easier in the long term. SEMODU’s unique selling point is the seamless integration of digital products into the modular building concept – and thus a decisive advantage in the market.”

The Munich-based company already thinks along with the fully digitalized apartment in the planning phase. The room modules are equipped in advance with the appropriate wiring, pipes, windows and doors, including wall paint and flooring, and delivered prefabricated to the construction site. There, they only need to be assembled. This efficiency and independence from wind and weather saves time and money. Real estate experts have recognized what tenants want today: affordable yet comfortable living space. Not 20 apps on their phones to control lights, TV and heating – but one. Not lots of expensive furniture in the apartment, most of which is just sitting around for one function. Instead: Flexible furniture that’s smart. Sometimes a dining table, sometimes a cooktop, sometimes a stylish brick wall, sometimes a TV.

This is easy on the wallet and on resources, saves energy, creates affordable new living space – “and is the whole new form of living,” knows SEMODU boss Frank Talmon l’Armée. And he knows the needs even before the tenants themselves do: “In developing our digital living concepts, we are not only largely guided by the needs of our customers – much more importantly, we explore needs that are often still unknown to them themselves.” Those who now feel the desire for a smart dining table, however, will have to be patient: Currently, SEMODU is founding a subsidiary and is in the midst of patent preparation. That is why the company and ZIA member is still holding back on further details. Jochen Dorner, Head of Business Development, reveals, however, that SEMODU is integrated into a large international network for this purpose.

Potentially, almost all objects in the room can be digitized, networked – and at some point even completely replaced digitally, say the future experts, pointing to an already existing impressive example of this future trend: the smartphone. The smartphone has already led the way: its owners can use it to write, take photos, transfer money, glow in the dark, measure space, shop and much more. The original function has almost become a secondary matter: making phone calls.

Furniture could also go this way. For example, the aforementioned dining table or TV wall or bathroom mirror. Why do we still need countless sockets when electricity works via wireless charging? Why still various lamps, if the light can also be generated on any digital surface?

How good it is when the developer plans the smart home intelligently from the start, plans the cables for all the electronics right into the building modules, and in the end gives the tenants a building operating system that controls everything centrally with a single app. It’s a kind of digital worry-free package that connects all devices with voice or gesture control.

The couple in the video quickly forgets their argument about the wall design and settles down on the sofa with their freshly brewed coffee. And just in case the neighbors don’t notice the tender kisses: all it takes is a flick, and the floor-to-ceiling windows become opaque. At some point, despite all the technology, you just want to… switch off.


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