CRE tech news roundup: March 2019

From scientific discoveries that block all noise to a new AI school for business leaders, we’ve rounded up some of the latest developments in tech and the CRE industry to keep you in the ever-changing loop.

1. Scientists discover “acoustic meta-material” that blocks all sounds

Researchers at Boston University developed a 3D-printed ring that catches frequencies passing through the air and reflects them back toward their source. Scientists attached a loudspeaker to one end of a PVC pipe and the 3D-printed ring on the other, and while air and light were able to travel through the pipe, 94% of the sound coming from the speaker was cut—making it inaudible to humans.

According to one of the researchers, possibilities for application are endless because this noise-canceling method can be customized to fit any shape. There are major implications of this material for architecture, especially in downtown areas. Soundproof but lightweight tiles and bricks could reduce everything from the sound of an ambulance outside to the loud employee in the cubicle next to you. Soon, office tenants may demand these cutting-edge soundproofing features.

2. Uber invests in rentable kitchens for restaurants

Uber’s program, Uber Eats, which delivers food for restaurants, is testing a new concept of providing rentable kitchens to businesses selling food on delivery apps. With the recent growth of co-working spaces, shareable kitchens seem like a logical step. The pilot program has not been publicly disclosed, but Uber has been testing it in Paris.

According to UBS, the food delivery market could grow from $35 billion this year, to $365 billion by 2030. Uber’s rented kitchen model could disrupt the restaurant CRE market, similar to how WeWork has disrupted the office market for small to mid-sized company tenants.

3. VC firm aims to increase the sustainability of a building’s lifecycle

The new venture capital firm launched in September 2018, Building Ventures, raised $53 million to look into new ways of incorporating technology into how buildings are designed, built, and operated. Building Ventures aims to revamp a building’s lifecycle by universally connecting systems and data—making them operate smoother and longer.

The VC firm formed to address the issue of the rapidly growing urban population, which is expected to grow by 2.5 billion people by 2050. Building Ventures is already well-connected and funded by The Built Environment Innovation Network, a group of sixty executives with ties to the real estate industry, that help them analyze investments and push out new technologies.

4. Microsoft launches new AI business school

Microsoft has announced a free, online course for executives aimed to teach them how to navigate the world of artificial intelligence. The master class series offers case studies, guides, videos of lectures, and fresh perspectives from leaders in the tech industry. The content centers around the effect of AI on company strategy, culture, and responsibility.

Artificial intelligence is beginning to carve out a huge role in the CRE industry, and this course could be valuable for industry professionals hoping to adapt to and leverage this new tech.

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