I’ve been spending a lot of time in Las Vegas. I was here two weeks ago for the Consumer Electronics Show, and now I was back for Design + Construction Week. Never heard of it? That’s because it’s only in its second year. And a little secret: It’s a combination of lots of events that have historically stood alone – International Builders’ Show, KBIS, Surfaces and Las Vegas Market. Such a great idea!
It’s been very interesting to see that the macrotrends that resonated during CES are now manifesting in the building & construction industry. Let me explain.
Building Technology. I have to say, I’m a little disappointed that more companies aren’t talking about smart technology. Certain leaders are working connectivity into new product development, but connected homes haven’t grabbed the same level of attention – on the show floor, that is. Upstairs in the CEU learning sessions, IoT was everywhere. There are a lot of brilliant minds helping builders think differently about their role in the housing market – starting with the influence they have with sub-contractors, insurance companies and suppliers.
Connected Home. We’ve all heard that the kitchen is the new nucleus of a home, right? When it comes to a connected home, it’s proving to be very true. Better Homes & Gardens conducted its annual consumer survey, and homeowners are telling us that the best room in the house to focus on technology and connectivity is the kitchen (65%), followed by the living room (53%). And they’re already using their smartphones to control various electronics in their house, like DVRs, HVAC systems and TVs.
New Talents. With all of this new technology, is the housing market well-positioned to make upgrade recommendations and complete installations and perform ongoing maintenance? Some are, yes, but not everyone. It’s forcing builders to think a little differently about how they partner with sub-contractors, what level of training they receive, who owns data and how it’s applied.
I also heard a pretty impactful statistic today, brought to me by Gartner: By 2022, there will be 500+ smart objects in the home. That’s seven years away. That’s less than a decade. Incredible. I’m starting to see a Ray Bradbury “The Veldt” formalizing…
Amanda Vasil is Change Agent at AKHIA.