The BYTE [9/18]


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 extinction of drivers, housing and construction numbers, virtual home partnerships, some trends to keep an eye on, and blockchains. Dig in!


Do People Still Need To Take Driver’s Ed?
Driverless cars, buses, and trucks were everywhere last week. Between new government guidelines, more cars and busses hitting the streets, and new forms of communication between cars and the outside world; it’s hard to keep up.

Driving A Not So Hard Bargain
The laws of land for autonomous vehicles are getting more flexible. The SELF DRIVE Act passed the house last week and weakens regulations from the past administration that are criticized as slowing down innovation. So it’s no coincidence that companies had a lot of announcements around this topic last week.

A new autonomous bus made its inaugural mile long trip through Atlanta. Though the trip was short, there were no accidents and it was a big first step in getting them into the downtown scene sooner rather than later. Speaking of driverless cars downtown, Lyft is releasing autonomous cars into San Fran. At first there will be a driver in the seat in case something goes wrong and riders have to opt-into trying out the feature. While fully-driverless cars are still a little ways out, Ford conducted a social experiment disguising a driver as a seat to study how people actually reacted to sans driver cars and tested a new car light notification system to “talk” to pedestrians.

Hand In Hand

Now Hiring…
…Said just about everyone in the business of building things. Open construction jobs continued to rise through the summer and increased to 232,000 openings, just 4k short of the cycle high. Don’t expect this number to drop anytime soon either because of the added jobs that are going to be open because of all the repair that is needed after the Irma and Harvey. Redfin provided us with quick housing numbers from August: prices increased 7.7%, sales fell 5.5%, and the number of homes for sale dove down by 12.4%.

Take Notes

Dynamic Duo
Ikea and Apple have partnered up to create a new Augmented Reality app called, Ikea Place. Ikea Place takes advantage of Apple’s new ARKit to allow people to browse the Ikea catalog on their phone and then actually take a look at the furniture in your home with augmented reality. Ikea claims it “automatically scale products – based on room dimensions – with 98 percent accuracy.” Get ready to test it out soon, it will be available on iOS 11 at the end of this month.

BuilderOnline took a look at the Hive Design Symposium last week and identified 11 trends/tech that builders should be considering right now. Among the 11 are countertop touchscreens, smart fridges, thoughtful garages, laundry in bathrooms, and recognizing the needs of all buyers by possibly including things such as prayer rooms, spice kitchens, etc. Click here to read all of their thoughts about the latest tech.

Blockchain technology is still very new and most commonly used to keep track of digital, or crypto, currencies such as bitcoin. In simple terms it is a highly effective, trackable, and quick way of organizing, exchanging, and securing pretty much anything. Some start-ups are trying to use this tech in real estate, to shore up difficulties with buying and selling land, homes, mortgages, and so on. Imagine living in a world where you no longer have to rifle through papers to find exactly the one you need to finish a land deal and it all being at your fingertips and only accessible to you.

Totally Unrelated

That’s Not What You Want
If you’ve heard of SpaceX and wondered how they re-landed an orbital rocket, the answer would be a lot of trial and error or if you haven’t wondered, just enjoy rockets blowing up.

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