Thursday, September 12, 2013
As an employee of leading low-voltage design and multifamily technology company Infinisys, Elisa Smith knows a thing or two about the technology demands of college students. The firm’s work in designing technology systems for student housing has been nationally recognized.
So, it should be no surprise that her recent trip to Best Buy to purchase a new WiFi adaptor for her son’s computer was a little more than just a quick “back-to-school” shopping trip. She used her knowledge of the space to bring back some thoughts for Infinisys’ clients.
“I thought that there would be a lot of bells and whistles because of the students preparing to go back to school,” Elisa said. “However, all I saw in regard to that were a lot of pre-packaged deals — with laptops paired with software and accessories to make buying more simplified.”
With technology becoming such an important part of students’ lifestyles and education, the retailers’ focus on bundling the products reinforces the current trend: students are connected all of the time through multiple devices.
Students want small and adaptable. That’s the way technology is heading, so tech savvy college students want something that they can bring with them wherever they go and it won’t take up too much room.
“I have been hearing that a lot of people are seeing laptops as somewhat old fashioned, because they are big and bulky,” Elisa said.
Basically, the tablet is quickly replacing the laptop as the standard for on-the-go productivity. However, the sleek and aesthetically pleasing versions of these portable units can be expensive, which causes some people to hesitate before purchasing. Students especially have to weigh their choices between functionality and cost. But, the idea of lugging around a backpack filled with books and a laptop is not appealing to the modern student, which is why tablets have become popular.
This increased connectivity – and portability – increases demands on student housing developers as tenants are expecting to be able to maintain those connections, through multiple devices, at all times. As technology manufacturers and retailers continue to make the devices more and more affordable, this trend will only continue. Developers need to focus on staying ahead of this trend by giving careful consideration to low-voltage design options that allow for growth and flexibility.