An Austin-based startup has created a prototype of a prefabricated micro dwelling that can be slotted into a framework like a bottle into a wine rack. The micro-housing startup called Kasita – adapted from the Spanish word for a small house – was launched by a professor-turned-entrepreneur who once lived in a dumpster. The mobile structure is a rectilinear pod clad in metal and glass, with one side featuring a cantilevered glazed box.
Seeing a massive, mobility-starved void in the dead center of one of the largest segments of the US economy (while living in a dumpster), Wilson is betting that his tech-stuffed, 30 square meters, portable living capsule is poised to transform the fundamental concept of what real estate means to a new generation of Millennials, empty nesters, and upwardly mobile creative types who are looking to trade-in their 30-year mortgage for mobility, simplicity, and financial independence.
Designed to be assembled in under a week, each Kasita would be able to swap between different racks. Owners with mobile lifestyles could contact the company to have the home transported to a new location, using a crane and flatbed truck. Once in place, the home would tie into city utilities via a special docking technology. “The utilities are distributed throughout the rack to each individual Kasita,” the company said.
The Kasita is also a smart home. It can welcome you by adjusting the temperature, lighting, and playing your favourite music. It also has hands-free voice commands available, so you can roll out your bed with ease. The company aims to have it’s first “rack” of Kasitas available in downtown Austin, Texas next year for about half the market rate (thanks to local partnerships) for a studio apartment — around $600USD. They plan to have Kasita’s available in 10 other cities starting in 2017.