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Stories Tagged - Technology

Apple's HomeKit allows users to turn on the driveway lights, open the front door and change the thermostat through voice activization. Submitted photo.

Sept. 19, 2016 | Miles Durie

Speak now

Speech-recognition tech offers in-home potential. But beware


As speech-recognition technology becomes increasingly reliable, it has the potential to become the interface of choice for just about every device we use.

On the surface, it makes sense. After all, people speak at an average of 150 words per minute, while most of us can barely type 40 on a good day.

But as convenient and novel as being able to talk to your computer, thermostat, lights and appliances might be, it comes with a few cautions.

Former CREB® president Alan Tennant recalls Calgary's real estate industry in 1998 was marked by continued adoption of new technologies and increased mobility among real estate professionals. Photo by Michelle Hofer/For CREB®Now

Sept. 14, 2016 | Cailynn Klingbeil

55 Years of Calgary Real Estate: 1998 CREB® president Alan Tennant

Former CREB® president Alan Tennant recalls 1998 as one with few challenges

Alan Tennant summarizes Calgary's resale residential housing market in 1998 in one word: stable.

"I recall doing monthly statistic releases throughout the year, and trying to find new ways to state 'stable,'" said Tennant, who was CREB®'s president that year. "I remember [the market] now more fondly than I did at the time. Back then, it seemed almost boring."

Corinne Lyall said changing market conditions benefited the buyer when she was CREB® president in 2015. Photo by Michelle Hofer/For CREB®Now

Sept. 14, 2016 | Cailynn Klingbeil

55 Years of Calgary Real Estate: 2015 CREB® President Corinne Lyall

Former CREB® president Corinne Lyall focused on different drivers behind housing market in 2015

Corinne Lyall is all too familiar with many of the challenges currently facing homebuyers and sellers in Calgary. She served as CREB®'s president just last year when the economic downturn was arguably at its strongest, is currently past president on the board of directors for the real estate member organization and is broker at her own firm Royal Lepage Benchmark.

Yet her message today is the same as it was when she had the gavel in hand: real estate is personal.

At a time when employment uncertainty had waned for years, 1995 CREB® president Wayne McAlister recalled there being hope on the horizon that year in the form of jobs. Photo by Michelle Hofer/For CREB®Now

Aug. 23, 2016 | Cailynn Klingbeil

55 years of Calgary Real Estate: 1995 CREB® President Wayne McAlister

Despite a challenging year, 1995 CREB® president Wayne McAlister chose to focus on the silver linings

A self-described "eternal optimist," Wayne McAlister still couldn't be blamed for looking back at 1995 with some degree of pessimism.

After all, as CREB®'s president that year, he oversaw Calgary's housing industry at a time when employment uncertainty had waned for years, resulting in weak consumer confidence and a painfully slow market.

"There was a downturn in the early '90s, with oil down – dramatically low – and the whole economy was feeling the pinch," he said. "(By 1995), we were still experiencing an economic downturn. There was some good, some bad that year."

The Skydrop Smart Watering Sprinkler Controller monitors local weather in real time via Wi-Fi and delivers water only when and where needed.

Aug. 22, 2016 | Miles Durie

Summer tech

Cool backyard tools that turn up the heat this season

A6Ahh, summer in the city. What a great time to be a homeowner, right? Step out your door and survey your domain, listen to the birds, smell the flowers and greenery — then plan your evening barbecue.

But wait. There's a flipside to all that. Did you water the lawn and garden? Does it need mowing before you can enjoy it? Better get it done, because tonight you're going to have to hover over the grill to make sure your steaks are done to perfection, while your friends and family enjoy the results of your backyard labour.

Well, we all know technology can't solve every problem, but it can certainly help reduce the stress and time you devote to looking after your outdoor living space.

2003 CREB® president Rosalee Krygier says many REALTORS® were initially reluctant to embrace the Internet. Photo by Michelle Hofer/For CREB®Now

Aug. 22, 2016 | Cailynn Klingbeil

55 years of real estate: 2003 CREB® president Rosalee Krygier

President's tenure marked by arrival of MLXchange, rise in Internet usage 

When Rosalee Krygier took on the president's role at CREB® in 2003, the industry had just finished a record-breaking year.

Though the 2003 market didn't quite reach the frenetic pace of the year before, it was still a strong year.

"It was really balanced," Krygier said. "It was good, steady, not a controversial market."

3D tours allow buyers to virtually walk through a seller’s home 24 hours a day. CREB® photo

Aug. 08, 2016 | CREBNow

Just like being there

3D technology offers potential buyers round the clock viewing

A6Technology with its roots in video gaming is now making it increasingly easy to tour a home, or any other space, without leaving your couch.

Online home tours photographed with a 3D camera like the Matterport Pro are so close to being there, about the only thing you can't do is reach out and touch the walls. It's the maturing of technology that was first brought to the mass market in an Xbox game controller.

"Around 2010, 3D cameras were becoming available to detect gestures — the Microsoft Kinect being the best-known example," said Bill Brown, the CEO of Matterport, a Silicon Valley firm that specializes in immersive 3D media, including hardware, software and real-world uses for the technology.

The Honeywell Lyric is described as a ‘home automation system designed for 
the new mobile generation.’ Photo courtesy photo courtesy Honeywell.

July 25, 2016 | Miles Durie

Sweet security

New-gen systems offer sophisticated safety

A6Randy Larkam sits at his desk in southeast Calgary looking at the sunny backyard of his vacation home in Arizona. The image on his computer screen is overlaid with several transparent tinted rectangles

As we watch, a caretaker enters the frame and checks the pool and surrounding patio.

"There she is," said Larkam. "Right on time, too."

The coloured areas on-screen show the motion detection fields of the cameras that monitor the yard. They can be adjusted in real time just by clicking and dragging.

This ain't your dad's burglar alarm.

Automated lighting control allows homeowners to shave costs off their monthly energy bills, said Ryan Lowe, owner and senior project manager at Progressive Home Automation in Calgary. Photo by Wil Andruschak/For CREB®Now

June 30, 2016 | Miles Durie

Tech that saves

Appliances and automation solutions that can save homeowners money

A6"It's cool, yeah. But will it save me money?"

For most of us, that's the obvious question when it comes to technology products for the home.

The answer may very well be yes. If you are a homeowner, a little research will show you that spending a little up front can reduce energy bills, insurance premiums and hassles down the road.

Danny Wong of IT Strength said plugged-in connections are more 
reliable than Wi-Fi networks. Photo by Adrian Shellard/For CREB®Now

June 11, 2016 | Miles Durie

Hard wired

Making a case against Wi-Fi in today's homes


It's a typical evening at home. Netflix is streaming on the big screen; the kids are downstairs playing on online game while blasting tunes from Spotify or Apple Music.

Mom is at her laptop catching up on some work through a VPN connection to her company's internal network, while dad's watching YouTube on his smartphone. Someone's probably checking Facebook, too.

And most, maybe all, of this is happening without a wired connection.

Wireless Internet is everywhere in our homes, but homeowners may rely in it more than they need to, say industry experts.

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