The MIT Tech Tracker

The real estate industry is undergoing its first wave of digital disruption, and understanding how technologies can transform the built environment is a critical asset to real estate professionals. It is especially helpful to investors, occupiers and academics to access unbiased and aggregated technology data that are relevant to curating technology profiles and developing predictions on where technologies are going next.

But which technologies should we implement into our buildings and cities? What are the types of technologies that will help solve our biggest problems in the built environment, such as climate change, automation and health? And which ones will hit our innovation marketplace first?


On September 8th the MIT Real Estate Innovation Lab launched the MIT Tech Tracker Beta, an information and analytics webtool developed as an outcome from an advanced, interactive and extensive educational experience with JLL. This tool provides insight into where technologies come from and where they are going, using proprietary algorithms that predict how technologies are advancing and developing to meet the biggest challenges in the industry today. By going beyond the media hype, using ranking algorithms, the MIT Tech Tracker scouts, tracks and predicts technologies that have the potential to make the biggest impact on real estate and the people who use, occupy and own space. The tool also reduces uncertainty by taking the mystery out of change and measuring with data - not gut – as to how one-off insights can turn into meaningful and viable strategies for the built environment when adopting technologies.


• Contrary to popular opinion, we have a lot of technologies available to make better real estate and the built environment. We have the techonological solutions to meet the challenges of climate change, automation and many more.

• There are a lot of innovators. We created a database of over 200 sources, to scout where technologies come from and how they move from the lab to becoming available in the marketplace and ultimately a part of our everyday lives.

• We created a catalog of all the technologies impacting the built environment and showcase them in a tool that allows the user to search for them, sort and organize them. Out of these 856 technologies, we have completed a data framework for 257 of them.

• Within this technology catalog, we also created a profile for each technology to detail its overall concept as well as the analytics, such as impact factors from wide and big data.

• We track 20 milestones that covers a broad range of technological development. This helps us discover insights like, it takes, on average, 41.6 years for a technology to move from inception in the lab to being a part of our everyday lives, but just two years from when a technology has a first commercial product to when multiple firms enter the market to start using the technologies.

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WHAT WE FOUND...cont’d

• We also track the technologies with big data. Compiling millions of data points helps us understand technological development and when a technology is gathering momentum.

• By tracking technologies through the news, social media, venture capitalist funding, company formation and academic output like papers and patents, we built a pipeline to rank them according to their chatter— or, awareness levels. This resulted in a Billboard Chart format of the top technologies impacting the built environment.

• Technologies are linked to strategies for solving challenges such as climate change, health and wellness and automation that are directly connected to the built environment.

• Tracking activity and milestones for each technology facilitates our ability to predict when they will hit the marketplace and what their impact factor will be for real estate. We use AI algorithms to build these predictions and helps us learn where a technology is headed NEXT!


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Tech Tracker has been featured in Business Insider and Forbes so far! Help us to spread the word about this

free tool that helps the real estate industry expand its innovation and technology culture!

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