8 Octavia will have a virtually attended lobby, including a smartphone app (as I understand it). I’m not sure who the vendor is, but it isn’t quite what I had imagined. As it was being described to me, I imagined it was just a camera on the building exterior that routed video directly to the correct homeowner’s smartphone via an app. Basically, a videophone. I imagined a black and white screen on a dedicated intercom replaced by an app on your smartphone. But no, it isn’t that.
Video above shows the very unique window coverings at 8 Octavia. But I digress from the Virtual Lobby Attendant…
The exterior building lobby camera will be virtually attended by a real person. Someone sitting somewhere in the world where it is – one assumes – far less costly to live. On the one hand, it’s kind of cool. A real person – even if only virtually present – can distinguish package delivery folks (for example) from regular guests from cleaning teams (again, for example) and make the appropriate decision about access without further consultation. Super convenient, and far less costly to the residents so HOA dues are lower than they otherwise would be for a building with an attended lobby.
However, while it isn’t anything like the Poor Door just approved in NYC, it could easily come across as a form of economic segregation. While a virtual lobby attendant might be a buzzworthy example, we’ve witnessed the departure of thousands of formerly blue collar jobs (like Hunter’s Point Naval Station, The Bethlehem Steel shipyard, just to name a few…) over the decades. A pattern that has concentrated wealth in cities like San Francisco and concentrated poverty in the exurbs and suburbs. I doubt that any more than 25% of the lobby attendants that come to work in San Francisco buildings actually live in San Francisco. While the new technology might make it seem different, is it any different than what has already happened?
What are your thoughts about a Virtual Lobby Attendant?
Note: We are not the developer of 8 Octavia, nor do we represent the developer. The fine folks at 8 Octavia are providing the developer with exclusive representation. Want your own? Learn more.‘