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 some rising costs, Amazon, 5G networks, fast cities, and a glimpse into the future of homes. Dig in!
Building materials such as steel and aluminum could rise in cost as much as 25% and Canadian lumber prices are still on the rise.
A 20% tariff on Canadian lumber last year, a devastating wildfire season, and mills shutting down in the south because of hurricanes have all contributed to near record high prices for common building varieties of wood. Now, a new tariff is being proposed by the current administration that could raise steel costs by 25% and aluminum by 10% from foreign suppliers. With shortages and tariffs being added to the cost of building, people are worrying that relief in the form of more affordable housing may be even further away.
Put A Ring On It
Amazon Never Slows Down
Amazon announced last week that they are acquiring Ring, a video doorbell maker. Amazon has been entering our homes as much as possible lately and with this acquisition they are starting to enter the home security market. Amazon’s smart speaker is already compatible with Ring further pushing their hope of Alexa being the smart home hub. Amazon also is reportedly going to stop selling Nest, the smart thermostat owned by rival Google. If Amazon keeps building its own repertoire of smart products it will be interesting to see if rivals are still able to sell on their site.
Almost every carrier is working on getting 5G for our phones into the real world. 5G has been reported to be anywhere from 10-100X faster than current 4G speeds. Verizon and Samsung are working together to make this a reality. While AT&T and Verizon both hope to have limited roll outs this year with T-Mobile and Sprint shooting for next year. A universal 5G network would allow for self-driving cars to better process the world around them, the Internet of Things could respond quicker, and the world could start moving even faster than it is now.
Speaking Going Fast
Forbes’ annual fastest-growing cities list has been released for 2018 and…drum roll please… Boise, ID took the number one spot. It was number 11 last year. Rounding out the top 5 are Seattle, WA; Dallas, TX; Orlando, FL; and Fort Worth, TX. Most of the list is from the South and the West. Florida dominates the list with seven of the top 25 cities.
Space10, IKEA’s research lab, surveyed 7,000 people in 147 countries to ask how they saw co-living spaces in 2030. They found that people want to live in small, diverse communities, preferably 4-10 people. The biggest concern people have is privacy, and they want clear lines in the space for what are personal spaces and group spaces.
And The Winner Is…
If you missed the Oscars last night, here are the best/most ridiculous moments from last night’s awards.