Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"Technology Will Easily Outpace Us Unless We Are Paying Attention"

We live in a very exciting time in terms of products and ideas available for home construction, general remodeling, do-it-yourselfers, and aging-in-place solutions. Technology is providing so many new choices - and at a very rapid rate.

If we had failed to keep alert or pay attention over the past few years, we would suddenly find products being used that we didn't even know existed. Leading the way in these areas are flooring, lighting, cabinetry, electronics, and plumbing fixtures and accessories. Advances have come quickly and numerously.

Consumers have design-related TV shows, websites, magazines, and home improvement stores to help educate them on new products and styles. We have to be diligent in keeping ahead of them or they may know more about a solution than we do.

Therefore, we have to take an active interest in keeping abreast of product development - not just a passive one where we stumble onto information or see something in an occasional email.

The International Builders Show going on right now in Las Vegas showcases many products that frankly weren't even available a few years ago. This is the perfect opportunity to tour various displays and see firsthand what is now available for inclusion in our remodeling projects. We can see actual demonstrations of many of the products or touch and hold them. This is great time to see newly introduced items, or existing one that have been improved recently.

Look for local home shows and other such opportunities to learn about new items. Also find out what the particular products have been created and the needs they are designed to serve. Learn about market research or other considerations that went into the design and creation of the new or revised products.

Social media (including videos), websites, and being on the mailing list of various manufacturers or distributors is another great way to stay informed of new product development and stay up with technological advances.

As easy as it is to learn about new products, product research, new or proposed regulations that might affect an existing product's future, and consumer demands for new solutions, we must be diligent in pursuing this information. Our customers surely will if we don't.

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Steve Hoffacker, CAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit my website at stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.