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’s BYTE includes some new data to actually enjoy, a wrap up of the tech convention, countries renewing their way into the future, getting to the core of smart homes, and some traditionally older home products getting a redesign. Enjoy!


Bringing Home The Bacon

The U.S. Census Bureau released new data on household incomes, showing the fastest growth since 2007, 5.2% to be specific.

Tell Me More

This is really good news. It shows incomes are recovering meaning more spending and that’s good news for everyone. The report also showed a decrease in poverty, which is a big deal because that hasn’t happened in many years. In addition to all this great news, the wage gap is continuing to close, not closing quickly but closing none the less, which is better than the alternative.

Gadgets And Gizmo’s Aplenty

Showing Off The Latest And Greatest

IFA 2016 has come and gone and we now know all of the best products about to hit the market. Features from this year included a fridge than will send you picture of the inside so you don’t forget something at the supermarket, an oven that lets you bake your steak to medium-rare without having to watch time or temperature, retro fridges that look like old VW minibus (our favorite), and washers that have a trap door for that sock you accidentally forgot to throw in.

Take Notes

Costa Rica Can’t Stop

Costa Rica is on a quest to run the country on 100% renewable and they’ve done that for over the past two months. In 2015 Costa Rica ran on 100% renewable energy for 285 days. This is very impressive, however not exactly replicable in larger countries since 80.27% of Costa Rica’s power came from hydroelectricity produced by the countries strong river systems. Keep up the good work Costa Rica.

All Under One Apple

With the new IOS 10 update from Apple, the company redesigned the Home app in an attempt to put all your smart device controls in one place. This is the first real stab at something like this from a big company and so far it seems to be working pretty well. The app helps with setting up your devices and categorizes them by rooms for convenience.

Trying To Make It Stick This Time

Wallpaper is back. Well maybe, but it is definitely becoming more popular. There are several new companies popping up and selling modern designs with easier installations, trying to “change the way people look at wallpaper.” The facts back them up as well. The market has been growing each year since 2011 and doesn’t look to be slowing down.

Totally Unrelated

The Triple Spiral

15,000 Dominoes. 25 hours of work. One spectacular tumble. This might just be the best way to spend 2 minutes to get the week going.


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’s BYTE includes the unseen home buyer, a new personal assistant for your home, the latest on a fruity new phone, a new way to track renewable energy, and burritos falling from the sky. Enjoy!


Am I Seeing That Right?

According to a new study 19% of buyers made a sight-unseen offer on a house.

Wait Really?

Really Really. With the latest tech such as 3-D walkthroughs and Matterport tours available online, more and more buyers are confident with their purchases without seeing the actual house. Stories of Skyping or FaceTiming into home tours also were accredited to the increase in confidence. As tech like this continues to advance, the model for buying and selling houses may need to change as there may be fewer open houses and more conference call type video walkthroughs.

19% of homebuyer bought homes sight unseen Click To Tweet

L.U.C.Y. I’m Home

Meet Your New Assistant

A new project launched on Kickstarter could be our first big step towards a smart home like Iron Man’s Jarvis. L.U.C.Y. is a wall mounted personal home assistant. You can talk to L.U.C.Y. and ask the weather, make reservations, call/video call people, view traffic and news, and so on and so on. If this is as great as they say it is then this could be the next step from products like Amazon’s Alexa.

New smart home assistant may be the next big step Click To Tweet

Take Notes

Renewed Faith

A new online tool tells you the amount of renewable energy that would be created from any point in the world. It can calculate the wind and solar power a specific area would generate. As solar power becomes more popular, a site like this could be used when the eco-conscious are looking to select a location for their next home.

New tool can check renewable energy output of anywhere in the world Click To Tweet

Did The Apple Fall Far From The Tree?

Apple released their latest iPhone 7 this week. If you haven’t seen the new tech and what it offers, it doesn’t have a headphone jack, but comes with an adapter. The phone is water and scratch resistant, longer battery life, comes in the same sizes as the 6s and 6s plus, the camera is much better especially on the 7 Plus, and gray iPhones have been replaced with black.

The new iPhone 7 Specs Click To Tweet

May Burritos Forever Rain

In Alphabet Inc.’s, Google’s parent company, latest move they partnered with Chipotle and Virginia Tech to deliver burritos around campus via drones. The companies have permission from the FAA and the project will be closely monitored to ensure nothing goes wrong and to collect data on how drone deliveries should be regulated in the future. If this all goes well we could be one step closer to our favorite foods literally falling from the sky.

Finally drones can deliever my burrito Click To Tweet

Totally Unrelated

Getting Loony

If you love the Loony Toons and need a Monday pick me up then this Southwest Airlines flight attendant’s end of flight speech is exactly what you need.

The Looney Tunes flight attendant that will make your day Click To Tweet




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’s BYTE is focused on fears over affordability, a new trend for beach front property, a little more of an empty Nest, the latest home innovation for your best friends, and a new take on hands free technology. Enjoy!



What Else Is New?

Redfin conducted a survey in August 2016 that showed, surprise, people’s biggest concern with buying a house is affordability. Redfin paired this study with the release of a list of cities with the most affordable homes.

O.K., Any Other Results?

The study showed that:

  • Millennials were the most concerned with affordability followed by size and quality/design;
  • The main reason people were influenced to buy was that rent was too high;
  • And overall, people’s decision to buy was not affected by the stock market, Brexit, or the election this year.

Also the top 3 affordable cities were Detroit, Cleveland and Baltimore, showing that if you want to buy an affordable home just move to an affordable place. If you don’t want to move, the study included really fun charts that show the rapid decline of affordable homes in several cities.

Redfin publishes results of home affordibilty studies Click To Tweet

Run To The Hills

No More Coasting Through Life

New data suggests people are slowly moving away from coastal cities. For as long as humans have kept records, the majority of the global population lived on the coasts. This might not be true for much longer as more people are moving inland. As global water continues to rise and storms like this continue to happen, this trend may accelerate.

People are slowly moving away from the coasts Click To Tweet

Take Notes

Empty Nest-ers

In the latest news from Alphabet, Google’s parent company, there will be several developers moving over to Google from Nest. The move came about because of Google ramping up its operations on trying to dominate the smart home market, specifically targeting everyone’s living rooms.

Google is creating some empty Nest-ers Click To Tweet

The Only Smart Home Tech You’ll Need

Acer just launched into the pet friendly smart home world with Pawbo+. With Pawbo+ you can skype with your pets and share the video on social media. There are also the add-on products aptly named, Catch, Munch, Punch, and Flash, for playing catch, giving treats, playing “whack-a-mole”, and recording your animals in the dark without hurting their eyes. Who knows, maybe this smart home tech will become the norm? Or will it be a “ruff” road?

Acer trying their hand at the pet-friendly smart home Click To Tweet

Just Roll With Me On This One

Cowarobot has us wondering, has science gone too far? Cowarobot is the newest self-controlled, motorized suitcase. The suitcase comes with a wristband that lets the suitcase know where you are and will follow you at “an arm’s length.” The suitcase also has a camera and sensors to avoid objects and stairs. What might be the coolest, but non-necessary feature, is the button that tells your suitcase to find you, basically like the Batmobile.

Finally a suitcase that will just follow you Click To Tweet

Totally Unrelated

That’s One Tough Melon

If you were ever wondering if a watermelon covered in LineX (super-strong, spray on coating) could survive a 147 foot drop, today is your lucky day.

Will a watermelon coated in LineX Survive 147 foot drop? Click To Tweet


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. Our easy to digest stories include an unexpected rise in the new and a drop in the old, the Jetson-esque feature that some think every home should have, a country getting creative with homes when land is tight, and new video technology that will truly move you. We hope you enjoy this week’s BYTE!


Out With The Old, In With The New
U.S. new home sales randomly jumped up in July to the highest level in almost nine years. Which made everyone happy except those trying to sell the “gently used” homes,whose sales dropped significantly.

Where Did This Come From? What a great question! The new home surge was largely driven by homes sold in the south, low interest rates, and lower unemployment rates.

New home sales reach 9 year high Click To Tweet

Dron’t Forget About Me

Apparently Drones Are Here To Stay
WIRED Magazine thinks so at least. They say it is about time for our abodes to have landing pads for drones. Whether it be for package delivery or down the line for our personal transportation. Drones are quickly changing the world around us, from photography, to package, and meal delivery, with the applications updating and growing every day. So maybe it does make sense to embrace our inner George or Jane Jetson and install a place for these drones to land in our lives.

It's time to make a place for drones in our lives Click To Tweet

Take Notes

Tiny Trend Or Way Of Life?
In smaller countries where there isn’t much land to expand, people have to get creative about where everyone is going to live. Japan is doing just that. Japanese Micro Homes are all over because of the lack of land, high prices for homes, and overall propensity towards a minimalist lifestyle. The homes are built in many shapes and forms to fit the small plot of land. As metro areas grow across the globe it will be interesting to see if the rest of the world takes a page from Japan’s book or not.

Japan is truly embracing the tiny homes Click To Tweet
Truly Moving Videos
MIT is at it again. As they continue to show how smart they are, we end up with some pretty spectacular innovations. This program for example takes video from a normal camera and analyzes the tiniest movements. It then analyzes this footage and allows you to manipulate the object on the computer and have it respond the same way as it would in the real world. As tech like this becomes more readily available there will be fewer and fewer reasons to ever leave the couch.

Amazing new video tech from MIT Click To Tweet
Happy 100
And while many of our articles in The BYTE focus on cool tech stuff, we also love getting out and enjoying the great outdoors. So Happy Birthday to the National Park Service (NPS)  — they turned 100 this last week. Although the Parks Service started in 1916 the first national park was Yellowstone and was deemed such in 1872, basically because Ulysses S. Grant went there and said, “We HAVE to keep this safe.” Here’s to another 100 years NPS!

The National Park Service turned 100! Click To Tweet

Each week our BDX digital marketing consultants and executives are out and about meeting with builders and helping them understand how they can use online marketing, media and technology solutions to improve their business. Here are some of the highlights from BDX in Action this week!

BDX in Action: Week of August 26th, 2016

BDX’s Jaimie Sprenkle attended the Meyers Research LLC, Zonda event this week!

Sprenkle 8-24

We had the Regional Sales Directors in town this week so naturally we had to get all of the post its out!

Regionals in town