The BYTE [3/6]


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 change needed to construction, what home buyers are looking for now, screens, leading the new charge, and turning 3D printing on its side. Dig in!


Building Up To A Change

With industries in general becoming more and more productive, a recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute shows the construction industry is less productive now than it was in 1968. Not helping this problem is the new worry about building material prices within the industry.

Time To Play Catch Up

Many U.S. industries have increased productivity since 1945 by 10-15x, however construction has largely stayed the same. The U.S. isn’t alone and construction productivity around the world is moving around the same pace, with a few exceptions like Belgium and South Africa. Productivity in other industries is largely tied to an adoption in new tech. It is also a challenge because construction involves many industries in order to complete one job — for example, the companies supplying the building materials.

Cost of building materials is now one of the top 5 worries for builders where as in 2016 it wasn’t really on the worry-map at all. Jumping up 25% made it the biggest leap pretty much ever. Here’s to 2017 getting more productive and costing less.

Going Up And Up

Home Size and Home Dissatisfaction That Is

In a recent study by Trulia, the average home size is bigger than ever – 57% higher than 1978. Not only that, but dissatisfaction about home size is also up. Less than a third of people surveyed would stay in the same size home on their next move. That being said it doesn’t mean everyone wants a bigger home. We have a real grass is always greener situation going on, people with bigger homes (>2,000 sq. ft.) wanted smaller home and people with smaller homes (<2,000 sq. ft.) wanted bigger homes. Generationally Millennials want more and Boomers want less. No word on how the trade talks are working out.

Take Notes

I Screen, You Screen, We All Screen For More Screens

Screens are getting skinnier, becoming transparent, and advancing every day. A digital design studio in London thinks screen are going to become ingrained in everything around us. The studio imagines screens being able to do incredible things. Think screens that can be easily stuck onto skin, screens woven into hats and clothes, screens covering buildings like paint, or screens taking on 3D qualities to display info like show someone’s face pop up from your phone when they call. For now these are all concepts but at the rate things change and advance some of these might not be far off.

Can’t Stop

The 94 year old inventor of the lithium-ion battery (the battery that powers basically everything these days) is back at it. He’s created a new battery that is the same weight as the current ion battery, but is thinner and holds 3x more juice. Not only that but it’s more stable and won’t randomly explode and handles extreme weather much better. Batteries have been considered one of the things holding a lot of new tech back so this would be huge, but when the lithium-ion battery was first invented it took a decade to hit the market and be safe to use so let’s hope for a little quicker turnaround.

Pick A Side

Ford and Boeing have a new toy. It’s a 3D printer that prints things horizontally as opposed to the traditional bottom-up method. This is a big advancement because if things are printed horizontally there is really no size cap on what can be made. Whole big parts of a car or plane could be made with one small machine.

Totally Unrelated

Patching Things Up      

There’s a new patch that helps everyone, especially young kids, with peanut allergies avoid a reaction when in contact or eating peanuts.

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