This SF apartment's bed, storage boxes drop down from the ceiling

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ByDion Lim via KGO logo
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
This SF apartment's bed drops down from the ceiling
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San Francisco based start-up Bumblebee Spaces uses clever engineering to optimize every inch of dead space and turning it into useful space, by making furniture such as beds and drawers store and drop from the ceiling.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- With the cost of housing in the Bay Area, every square foot counts. So a San Francisco company is using clever engineering to optimize every inch of dead space and turn it into useful space, like making a full-sized bed and clothes drawers come out and store away in the ceiling.

If looks can be deceiving, the micro studio apartment model inside the Bumblebee Spaces headquarters in San Francisco's Mission district takes the cake.

By just saying a few words like "get my clothes," co-founder and CEO Sankarshan Murthy demonstrates the magic of what his company's technology can do.

Within seconds a drawer-sized compartment lowers from the ceiling to hip height. Inside, neatly arranged with Marie Kondo style precision is a set of clothes and several clothing accessories.

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The experience is nothing short of fascinating.

"Whatever you need comes down when you need it!" smiles Murthy who jokes his last name sounds like "Murphy" as in Murphy bed. Bumblebee's technology is something light-years more advanced.

The company started three years ago when Murthy moved from the East Coast and was appalled by the cost of living in the Bay Area.

Inspired by theater sets which move and change with each scene, Murthy built up a team of now 25 employees from companies such as Tesla, Apple and Google and set out to solve a problem facing many in the Bay Area.

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"As an engineer you just go down this rabbit home of principals of understanding where is this money going. Quickly you realize you're not paying for sticks and drywall and cement. You pay for this dollar per square-foot and you're paying for location. Even if I give you free material and free labor and put up this shack in Palo Alto, it's a $2 million shack!" says Murthy.

Bumblebee Spaces has since partnered with commercial real estate companies like The Landing by Align Residential in the Dogpatch and soon the Blumenfeld Development Group in New York City to have it's technology installed in properties.

The smart technology and imaging embedded into the modules even helps those who are prone to losing or misplacing items.

Murthy shows how with a voice command of "find my ____" users can search for their items like searching for Google.

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While Bumblebee Spaces is not currently working direct to consumers they hope to have a showroom up and running by the end of 2020 and to be available to customers shortly after. Murthy has exciting goals for the company in the near future.

"We want to get in and out of the home in an hour. Just like installing an appliance or a light fixture in the ceiling, so we're able to deploy and scale by the end of the year."

You can learn more about the company here and check out the technology installed in this Nob Hill apartment which is renting for about $3200.

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