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 a virtual leasing assistant, how VR determines a job promotion, a home made out of plastic bottles, windowless cockpits, and a salad vending machines. Dig in!
Can We Meet the Demands of Today’s Renters?
LeaseHawk, a technology solutions company, has developed a new way to interact with apartment shoppers through AI. Meet ACE AI – a virtual leasing assistant that is available 24/7.
An Alternative to Call Centers
Just like home shoppers experience pain points during the home-buying journey, so do apartment shoppers during the leasing process. With ACE AI, apartment hunters can get their specific questions about the complex answered – pricing, availability, amenities, etc. According to LeaseHawk CEO, Mike Mueller, “ACE AI is enabling apartment hunters to take control of the conversation and giving management companies and owners a cost-effective alternative to call centers.” Apartment complexes lose business when calls are missed – up to 49% – which is why LeaseHawk’s new virtual leasing assistant is such a valuable investment for management companies and owners alike.
A New Way to Determine How You Can Get a Promotion
How does the largest private employer in the United States find employees for management positions? Through VR, of course! Walmart recently partnered with Strivr to create a VR headset and assessment program that could identify how people might respond to different situations and tasks. However, according to Walmart Human Resources Market Manager, Beth Nagel, “VR is a touchpoint in our selection process. It’s not a disqualifier.”
Recycle Enough Bottles and You Could Build a House
At least that’s what startup company, JD Composites did. Over 600,000 recycled plastic bottles were used to design a home in Nova Scotia. The recycles panels actually help homeowners save energy in heating and cooling. Besides being eco-friendly, this house is also strong enough to withstand 326 mile-an-hour wind speeds – a bonus for homeowners who live in hurricane and tornado susceptible areas.
A Windowless Cockpit
A new prototype airplane is being developed by NASA. Nothing out of the ordinary, right? Wrong. This airplane – the X-59 – is supposed to reduce the supersonic “boom”. Forget everything you know about the appearance of airplanes. The X-59 will have an elongated nose and a large 4K monitor connected to an eXternal Visibility System to deliver an AR version of what lies ahead for the pilot.
Take a Break and Grab a Salad from the Vending Machine
Startup company, Fresh Bowl, has now made healthy food more accessible. Instead of plastic packaging, this vending machine offers glass jars that can be returned to the machine for a discount on the next meal. And before you say the salads will be soggy, Fresh Bowl found a way around that dilemma – by putting the dressing at the bottom and the greens at the top. The salads are made fresh every morning and are tracked to avoid overproduction – “For every machine, we really try to plan and forecast how many salads we’re going to do on a daily basis.”
A New Viral Challenge
You’ve probably heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but have you heard of the Bottle Cap Challenge that’s circling the internet? Started by UFC Featherweight champion, Max Holloway, this challenge involves opening a capped bottle by doing a spinning back kick. Other celebrities, such as John Mayer and Jason Statham, have participated in this challenge as well.