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CES 2017: 3 tech trends set to impact real estate

By Mike Wheatley | February 1, 2017

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) show saw all kinds of new and freaky gadgets, from smart hairbrushes to automated toasters. Not everyone needs them of course, but this kind of out-the-box thinking is what drives innovation.

The 50th annual convention didn’t disappoint the tech aficionados gathered to preview the best and biggest trends this year, and it didn’t disappoint real estate professionals either – what follows are three trends from CES 2017 that are likely to impact commercial real estate in the months and years to come.

AI assistants

Artificial Intelligence was king at CES 2017, with Amazon’s Alexa leading the way by popping up in all kinds of smart cars, refrigerators, televisions, phones, lamps and more. Google was there too, with its own AI embedded into Smart TVs and Google’s Home speaker, among others.

For real estate, the AI invasion is only just beginning. The technology has great applications for the industry, including analytics, scheduling applications, chatbots, enhanced CRM platforms, and of course, enabling smarter buildings. AI is going to be everywhere in the next few years, controlling everything, and will probably become a must-have feature for modern commercial spaces.


Virtual reality and augmented reality are catching on fast, and devices are getting cheaper. At CES we saw headsets like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 going wireless, while Intel’s Project Alloy headset lets users view real world objects in a virtual world for the first time. Microsoft was there too with its Hololens, which demonstrated holograms superimposed over the real world.

For real estate VR and AR have an obvious application, allowing prospective buyers to explore as yet unfinished spaces, or view a virtually staged property.

Internet of Things

IoT is booming in real estate now, just as it is all over the world. The technology is most useful for enhancing energy efficiency inside buildings – IoT gadgets exist to monitor the temperature and humidity, and occupancy of a building. It also helps to control and adjust the automated lighting, lock the doors and many more applications.

Some future products that could apply to commercial real estate range from ceiling tiles that wirelessly charge electronic devices within range to smart radiator valves. Imagine asking a mirror what time it is and the weather conditions outside, or using a small drone to take a real-time virtual tour of a space.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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