Sembawang, also known as Sembawang New Town, is in the northernmost side of Singapore. It is part of the Sembawang Group Representation Constituency that includes Woodlands New Town. Since 1938, Sembawang has been the site of a major naval base, first the British navy and now, the Singapore navy. Military presence in Sembawang has consistently been high alongside the many industrial facilities that have long defined its landscape. Despite this, Sembawang is home to a large suburban residential area, although one less dense than its counterparts. It is a quieter, slower alternative to the constantly busier central and eastern districts. As a developing district, there’s a bit of a dichotomy surrounding the numerous property types in Sembawang. Around Sembawang Way and Sun Plaza, there are many HDB estates within walking distance but travel further down toward Canberra Drive, and that typical HDB look shifts rather dramatically. There is a possibility for Qingjian’s other projects, Bellewaters and Bellewoods, to retroactively adopt smart features if The Visionaire is successful. But while those projects weren’t built with the IoT and HiLife app and functionality in mind, The Visionaire is. And in Singapore where new technology is embraced with such fervour, that Qingjian is the first to deliver smart features on this level with a promise for more advanced stuff coming in the near future should serve as a wakeup call. The march toward smart homes is inevitable so it is a good idea to implement some form of it incrementally to accustom people to a more connected way of living. At the time of this writing, transaction data for The Visionaire has yet to be released. Indicative prices however peg 2BR units at $598K. This is a little higher than what is expected of an EC in a far-flung area, but given its smart features and that the entire development is the first to be built with this, prices are somewhat more justified. People whom aren’t interested in living in a smart unit can opt for a typical unit and these units will presumably be lower in quantum as the smart features are considered as add-ons. Furthermore, the higher pricing takes into consideration that the upcoming MRT station is a five minute walk away from it. When the MRT station is up, resale value of a unit in the Visionaire within the 10 years and after the tenants have fulfilled the minimum five year MOP will fetch a higher quantum. After the 10 years is up, it is likely prices will sky rocket over the current indicative prices of $1m for the bigger units, once the EC becomes a condominium and the buyer pool extends out from just Singaporeans and PRs to foreigners as well. The Visionaire’s showflat is located about a 15 minute walk away from its actual site at Wellington Circle, next to the HDB estate and surrounded by dense greenery. Looking more like a spaceship than a property showcase, The Visionaire showflat sets the stage early on for its inaugural venture into the smart home sphere. Being built from the ground up to be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) and having an exclusive app – HiLife – downloadable only by residents of The Visionaire, Qingjian is hoping that with the first ever Smart EC in Singapore, that other developers would follow suit. For that to happen, The Visionaire would need to succeed first. As it is, developing a smart home in Singapore is a risk Qingjian is taking so it is starting slow. But introducing early adopters to the way of the future however is an exciting prospect and The Visionaire certainly does not lack in this area. The Visionaire The Visionaire And as it is impossible to discuss anything about The Visionaire without first talking about its smart features – both current and future – they will be discussed first. There are several smart features that were shown but are actually unavailable for purchase as of yet. The tasks they can perform are quite impressive such as a Samsung Smart Fridge that actually tells you what groceries are low in quantity and prompts you through the app to order them online. So while it is normal to have reservations about relying on a piece of machinery constantly needing to be connected to the WIFI at home, its allure is hard to ignore. Fortunately, these products are a few years away so people have time to get accustomed to new technology. Paving the way however, are the features that do come with the smart units. These are the IP camera, motion sensor and digital smart lock. The camera only shows the area around your door, not including your neighbours and it helps to keep you updated should anyone attempt to reach you while you are not home. Through the app, you can see who is at your door and use it to communicate with the person through the speakers built in the IP camera. With the app, the resident can then unlock the door and allow entry to the person when necessary. This entire setup is powered by the IoT. The IoT can also be customised to welcome you and any other member of the household back, set air-con temperature to their preferred level, provide you with traffic news, allow a single click to turn on lights, pull curtains and even turn on the television. It can also be set to automatically turn off the lights in a room when you’re out of it after a period of time. It is important to note also that while The Visionaire is being built to have smart features integrated into the units, future residents whom are not comfortable with this can opt to buy a regular non-smart unit. As for the showunits, there were three on display. One is a showunit of the future and as such, this unit is not representable of the typical units in The Visionaire. The other two which will be, are.
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