The BYTE [12/11]


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 self-driving cars, a new look at architecture input, a new partnership, tech housing, and housing numbers. Dig in!


Take The Wheel
There has been no shortage of news on autonomous cars, but with the latest news we now have a sort of timeline until when we can take a nap in the back seat. took a look at the latest and how our society could change with this tech.

Everyone Is A Backseat Driver
Ford, Lyft, GM, Uber, Tesla, Volvo, Waymo, BMW, and Google all hope to be a better driver than you. Next year GM is unleashing theirs in Manhattan, Google is releasing theirs in Phoenix in the next few months, and Tesla’s cars already have a lot of autonomous features with more to come. BMW, Volvo, and Ford all plan on releasing self-driving cars by 2021 or sooner. With all of these hitting the streets soon, big cities could see an incredible opening of space from parking lots not being needed any more. Apartments could get cheaper because of the reduced need for parking. Garages may become extinct. Instead of walking to your car the not so far off future could be like always having a valet. Car-centric design of cities and suburbs could completely shift.

I Like That Home

But Why?
A new field in architecture is starting to peel back exactly what we all look for in homes. Cognitive architecture takes vision heat maps of images based off where people’s eyes naturally look when looking at a building. Seeing exactly what draws the most eyes could allow for designers and architects to build better, more eye catching homes. The three biggest findings from the study were; first, people ignore blank facades, buildings with more windows and high contrast areas always got more attention. Second, people are constantly looking for other people in images. Third, fixations drive exploration, so giving people something such as a mural to stand in front of vs a blank wall, mural always wins.

Take Notes

Hearing You Loud And Clear
Ikea and Sonos (wireless speaker brand) are teaming up. Though the announcement included few details, it seems as though they are working on making it easier for a Sonos smart speakers to hear you from anywhere in the home. Ikea is on a smart home kick at the moment so this partnership makes sense for them. For Sonos this may be a way to try and insert themselves into the smart speaker lead by working with a major home brand.

Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands
If you haven’t heard, living in California is expensive. But California is also home to a lot of expanding tech companies that need people to help the business grow. So options are limited, pay employees a lot more so they can simply live or build/invest in less expensive housing. Facebook and Google announced their plans to do this earlier in 2017. Now LinkedIn is joining the party. LinkedIn is putting $10 million into a nonprofit loan fund working to increase affordable housing in Silicon Valley.

Totally Unrelated

One Coffee, One Go-Couch
Amazon and The Grand Tour outfitted a whole café and had the unsuspecting customers watch and then join a motorized couch and ottoman race! Sign me up!

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