Some studio apartments in Columbus will be able to switch from living space to bedroom at the push of a button.
A Dublin real estate developer is implementing robotic furniture in a Columbus neighborhood and could bring the technology to Dublin's Bridge Street district.
Crawford Hoying by 2018 will bring 20 units of a robotic furniture model by Ori to its High and Cherry development in the River South neighborhood south of downtown Columbus, said Alison Srail, Crawford Hoying associate director of development.
Srail also said there is an opportunity to bring the technology to Dublin's Bridge Park development.
"This is an urban development in a suburban neighborhood, so there's definitely a future possibility that this will land in some of our future blocks," Srail said.
The furniture can toggle between three settings: closet, bedroom and living room. The bedroom can either include a queen- or full-sized mattress. Users can either control the furniture by pressing a button on the model or using an application on their mobile phones.
Hasier Larrea, CEO of Ori, said the company was born out of research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was founded two years ago by students and professors.
Ori said for now he is selling directly to real-estate developers, although future partnerships could expand the business model. While the unit Crawford Hoying will use costs about $10,000 per system to make, the cost per system ranges from $1,500 to $40,000, he said. The price is largely dependent upon the quality of the furniture rather than the technological system.
The system uses 60 watts of electricity to transition from one setting to the next, Larrea said. If there is a power outage, the system could be controlled manually.
Urbanization was the main motivator behind developing the technology, Larrea said. As more people come to one area, the available space shrinks.
In addition to Columbus, Ori systems are available in Chicago; Harrison, New Jersey; Miami; New York City; San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; and Vancouver.
Larrea said Columbus' large student and millennial population along with the amount of innovative real-estate developers in the area made the city a good target market.
Ori's model made sense for Crawford Hoying because it seemed like a user-friendly and innovative way to increase space in studio apartments, Srail said.
While they haven't determined a price yet for studios outfitted with the Ori system, Srail said she anticipates a slight premium. The total price of a studio apartment with the furniture system would be less than a one-bedroom apartment. Although the system's use in Bridge Park remains undetermined, Srail said 10 percent of the development is already dedicated to studio apartments.
And while many people assume young students or younger married couples would be the main demographic, she said she anticipates Dublin's studio apartment to also include empty-nesters.