The Pod Studio, billed as the world's smartest tiny house, is what container homes must dream of when they go to sleep. It's shaped like a container and built like one, but it expands three times its size once it reaches its destination by means of extra-long slide-outs. Each of these slide-outs gets an automatic awning, which, when deployed, further expands the habitat.
Measuring 30 feet (9.2 meters) in length and 8.5 feet (2.6 meters) in width, the Pod Studio becomes 16 feet (4.9 meters) wide, not including the awnings. The entire home is built from aluminum and steel, which means it's fire-resistant for up to 90 minutes, earthquake-resistant, and wind-resistant for up to 90 mph (145 kph), even with the awnings deployed.
The Pod Studio can be transported by truck to the desired location, but unlike a typical container home, installation doesn't require a team or the use of a crane. That's because it has four automatic hydraulic legs, allowing it to lift itself up from the carrier, level itself on the ground, and complete the installation. The entire process is estimated to take 15 minutes or less, which sure beats the time, paperwork, and money you'd need to build a "regular" house.
Offering a living space of 454 square feet (42 square meters), the Pod Studio comes fully furnished, with a standard 3 kW solar package (upgradable to 10 kW), built-in water and septic tanks, and smart features that allow remote control and more efficient use of available resources. The PodForm app works both on Android and iOS and is designed to offer a complete look at consumption and stats, and control of the home's features.
The layout is what you'd expect from a container home in the sense that it favors open-space design and multi-functional areas, offering accommodation for two people and the occasional guest. This way, you get a living room, a full kitchen, a full bathroom with an attached walk-in wardrobe, an office, a bedroom, and a dining area, though chances are you won't be able to see them right away.
That's because some gimmicks are at play to hide features when they're not needed. For instance, the four-person dining table is tucked away into the kitchen block, where it doubles as a two-person breakfast bar. The office disappears at night when you lower the king-size Murphy bed over it and turn the entire living into the bedroom. If you're a night bird, it's ok: the Pod Studio actually has a second workspace tucked away into a corner.
Even if you're not into tiny or mobile houses, the Pod Office sounds like perfection. The "too good to be true" kind.
From what we can tell, Podform has no presence on social media and no contact data listed. However, they're offering reservations for the Pod Office at $50 a pop and a $100 discount for a night stay at the display unit at Joshua Tree – which seems to exist only as an early prototype.
If you join the waiting list, you get a message
This is not to insinuate that the intention behind Pod Studio is anything but legitimate, but maybe some restraint is advisable when looking at your potential future smart home. It's always best to be safe than sorry.
Update, September 26: The original text has been edited to include the full names of the Podform founders.