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Smart Workplaces Reach Peak Hype


The course of true love rarely runs smoothly. And the route to adoption of new technology can be even more bumpy.

Every year research and advisory firm Gartner publishes its Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle, which outlines where it feels new tech is in the journey toward widespread adoption, or failure to catch on. There are a couple of interesting points for real estate to note.

Gartner splits the process of adoption into five parts: the innovation trigger, the peak of inflated expectations, the trough of disillusionment, the slope of enlightenment and the plateau of productivity.

Essentially, Gartner argues that after bursting onto the scene, new technologies often have a period where people think they will not reach mass appeal, before a practical application is found and they become a productive part of the economy.

Gartner's Emerging Technology Hype Cycle 2018

In real estate terms, this year, the smart workplace is near the very top of the peak of inflated expectations, with only biochips, digital twins and deep learning higher up the hype scale.

Gartner picked out one element of the idea of the smart workplace as one of its four trends to watch, the idea that technology will be integrated with day-to-day life to create “transparently immersive experiences”. Gartner posits that smart workplaces will be with us in the next five to 10 years.

“Technology, such as that seen in smart workspaces, is increasingly human-centric, blurring the lines between people, businesses and things, and extending and enabling a smarter living, work and life experience,” Gartner said. “In a smart workspace, electronic whiteboards can better capture meeting notes, sensors will help deliver personalized information depending on employee location, and office supplies can interact directly with IT platforms.”

One emerging real estate technology has made it to what Gartner considers the hardest part of the journey: the idea of the connected home has slipped from the peak of inflated expectations to the trough of disillusionment. Immersive technology will also be present in the home, but Gartner feels the concept is at the stage where the hype is wearing off and people are struggling to see how it moves from idea to application.

“On the home front, connected homes will interlink devices, sensors, tools and platforms that learn from how humans use their house. Increasingly intelligent systems allow for contextualized and personalized experiences.”