Alyssa Dennis

The slow traction of technology and innovation is putting new startups in a position to try again, at a different place, at a different time, to continue the journey to find innovation that can be programmed at scale.

Perhaps the most prescient scene in the futuristic 1960s cartoon “The Jetsons” was when George, the eager technophile, had to run as fast as he could to stay on a newfangled treadmill gone haywire.

It’s an apt metaphor for some technology today, particularly in the real estate industry, which is quick to jump on the newest disruptive innovation, but often ends up with the next Bluetooth-enabled toaster instead.

Is any of it really necessary? Maybe.

There are real changes taking place that could have a lasting effect on housing — from land use and affordability to the fancy amenities that influence how and where we live.

Some of the best tech, the kind with staying power, has been percolating for years, often after failing miserably at first. It persists because there are no perfect solutions to the problems it is attempting to solve, but there is always hope that someday someone might get it right.

Among the innovations currently worth taking seriously: modular housing that can be built faster and cheaper than traditional construction; robotic parking systems that move cars safely and efficiently; signal-boosting devices that allow cellphone reception in high-rise towers; and luxury amenities like infrared saunas.

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