Welcome to the BYTE, where we serve up the latest home and tech news from the last week for you to sink your teeth into.
This week we’re taking a BYTE out of the internet in 2017, some exciting new tech applications, the fun and the not so fun of some housing numbers, and the ultimate productivity tool. Dig in!
The 2017 Internet Trends report was put out last week by Mary Meeker and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a Silicon Valley firm.
What Did It Say?
Each year this company puts out a trends report so we all know what to expect or keep an eye on in the coming year for the Internet. This year’s report shows us a couple of intriguing things. First, smartphone sales are declining, they only grew 3% compared to last year’s 10%. Second, adults spend 5 hours a day on consumer digital media, and for the first time, most of that time is spent on mobile instead of desktop. Third, ad spending on the internet will pass TV ad spending by the end of the year. Lastly, voice and AI assisted purchases are coming in fast and aren’t going to be hitting the brakes anytime soon. View the full report here.
The Future Of Play
Can Adults Play Too?
Two big companies are actually starting to make new toys with the technology of today. Sony is releasing a new console that isn’t like the usual console. The two circular controllers control two AI powered blocks that you can use to create, race, or do whatever you want. The goal is to inspire coding and STEM minded children to create and explore from an early age. LEGO is also jumping on this bandwagon with codeable sets so people can create little robots, moveable/controllable animals, or pretty much anything you might want to make. We might start seeing more parents playing with their kid’s toys if this trend continues.
Fun Things First
Colorado Springs, CO had the highest percentage of home buyers moving in during Q1 of 2017, followed by Charleston, SC then Raleigh, NC. San Francisco had the lowest percentage of buyers most likely because the average price of a home is $1.3 million. In other news, New York is again the most walkable U.S. city followed by San Francisco, and Boston. To view the full list click here.
The Not So Fun News
Almost 7 million homes are at risk of hurricane storm damage this year. It’s hurricane season and this year isn’t supposed to be as bad as previous years, but it still may not be great. If the worst case scenario happens there would be more than $1.5 billion in damage done. The Atlantic Coast has the most homes at risk with a total of 3.9 million. Batten down the hatches, there’s a storm a comin’.
Can I Get A Hand?
A lab in Tokyo is developing a pair of robotic arms that are there to help you get things done. The arms sit on your back like a backpack and are controlled by your feet so your real hands stay busy while your legs control your second set of arms. The arms work best when someone is sitting down so the user can have full control of all four of their arms. They are also being looked at to help amputees.
The National Aquarium in Baltimore installed a big underwater touchscreen in the dolphin exhibit so that maybe one day we can get a snapchat from a dolphin.