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 redefining the suburbs, housing policies, AR in your car, solar power charging, and a robot dog. Dig in!
Is the American Suburbia Landscape Changing?
Redefining the Suburbs
Thanks to TV shows like Leave it to Beaver or the Desperate Housewives, we have a skewed view of what the suburbs should be. Based on the three definitions gathered from preliminary information, suburbs are areas not in a principal city, have similar ways of life, and can be sorted based on population density. While we have an abundance of information on urban centers, we have little to no information on suburbs – an area where most Americans live.
The Impact of a Generational Gap
Why is it that places that have numerous job opportunities are also the least affordable places to live? Real-estate firm, Unison, calculated how long it would take to save up for a 20 percent down payment for someone with a median income. The result? An astonishing 14 years compared to 9 years from 40 years ago. So what does this mean for those graduating from college or those looking to start a family? It means that the housing market needs to change in order to accommodate for all generations.
Bringing AR to Your Car
You’ve heard of VR, but have you heard of AR? AR – augmented reality – integrates digital content into your real-world. Examples of this concept include Pokémon Go, L’Oréal Makeup App, and Ikea’s Mobile App. So it comes as no surprise that AR is making its way into vehicles. Uses for this will include creating visibility, map navigation, and creating a way to get car shoppers to buy a car without ever seeing it in person.
Charge Your Gadgets with Solar Power
And we don’t mean solar power roofing. Georgia Tech alumni, Krystal Persaud, created a Window Solar Charger that is made of bamboo and transparent plastic sheet. This charger houses a USB port that can charge pretty much any gadget imaginable (i.e. phone, AirPods, etc.). Her reason? “I care about sustainability and I’m not going to… sacrifice convenience and style” (source: CNET). At the moment, this solar power charge sits at a whopping $149 and is supposed to last 25 years at 100% efficiency.
Robot Dogs Are Taking Over the Pet Space
Imagine an AI-powered dog that can make dog sounds, walk, play with toys, respond to commands, and uses facial recognition technology to interact with different people. The best part? You’re saving money on food and you don’t have to deal with dog waste. That’s exactly what Sony did with their AI robot, Aibo. However, with AI comes the issue of privacy and Aibo is no exception to these concerns.
Plan a Getaway to the Taco Bell Hotel
That’s right folks. Not only does Taco Bell serve college-student budget tacos and are open until midnight, they also decided to build a hotel in California. Activities include a Freeze Lounge, a dive-in movies at the pool, live performances from their TBell’s Feed the Beat list, and a salon.