Most of the discussion around technology and real estate has focused on energy-efficiency or property management applications. These uses of technology are essentially invisible to the residents of a space.

This research report from Hammersmith explores how pioneering projects are incorporating technology to address lifestyle issues and enhance the experience of being in a space for residents.

While most of these examples are drawn from hospitality and senior housing sectors, it is critical to remember that each of these are critical vectors for disseminating innovations: each hotel room exposes hundreds of guests per year to the technologies, and senior housing can demonstrate the value of certain innovations to the extended family. In each case, the asset class serves as viral marketing.

Let me know what you think:

Real estate and technology aren’t two terms typically used in the same sentence. Real estate isn’t an early adopter of technologies, and construction is even less so. But the industry is facing extraordinary pressures to catch up to the leaps of innovation found in other industries – and to remain relevant to the changing preferences of consumers.

Much of the general conversation on real estate and technology focuses on green buildings, and the next step will likely be on intelligent buildings. Green systems typically use resources more efficiently; intelligent building features help make green buildings greener by allowing them to be responsive to their environment.

The next step beyond this is to add wireless sensors to individual components and systems. This will not only enable owners to monitor a building’s performance in real time, but (to simplify greatly) it will also generate a massive amount of data … data that will be analyzed, anonymized, Googlified and correlated for some very interesting results. And you thought Google Analytics for your website was interesting? Just wait until the equivalent is available for the building and the surrounding street activity.

We wanted to use this blog to share some of Hammersmith’s research and engage in a dialogue over this emerging trend in real estate. For the first time, it looks like the next phase of the web – the Internet of Things –  may emerge from the real estate sector.

This is going to have very interesting opportunities and possibilities. We’ll try to explore some here, but one thing is certain – some the most interesting will be user-generated hacks that take advantage of converged systems and connected buildings. (It’s like trying to extrapolate call waiting, 900 numbers, and booty calls from Alexander Graham Bell’s first phone call. Which happened in my hometown, by the way, but that’s a different story).

We look forward to your thoughts on this forum.