Dec 05, 2019 in Viewpoint

Smart technology in the USA and Europe: which continent is the most innovative?

Last month, we’ve had the pleasure to go to New York for the Real Estate Tech Week. We’re naturally curious to see how activity-based working and smart technology work in other countries all over the world. And what better way to find out than to ask. So, we sat down together with Sophie Mathieu, the Head of Partnerships & Business Developments of MIPIM PropTech events, and asked her about smart technology in the United States and Europe. Here’s her take on the trends in PropTech developments in these two continents.

Anne Wernand
by Anne Wernand
Sophie Mathieu
We sat down together with Sophie Mathieu, the Head of Partnerships & Business Developments of MIPIM PropTech events, and asked her about smart technology in the United States and Europe. © E. MEGRET - Image & Co

Different mentalities

“The biggest difference between the United States and Europe when it comes down to new technologies is the go big or go home mentality from the United States. The same goes for smart technology. In America, they already have a riskier culture. For example, opportunistic investor attitudes, larger deal values and the success of producing 1 billion startups. The United States also has a much higher adoption rate of new technologies. The American people embrace innovation much faster. I see that in Europe there is also more fear of new technologies. In the United States, they just do it. I believe that Europe could learn something about that risky culture.”

Regulation data collecting: yes or no?

“When we’re talking about privacy, we’re talking about data. And although we may hear more scandals about the misuse of data in America, they care less about it than Europe. In Europe, there is the GDPR since the beginning of 2018 and there really isn’t anything similar to that in the United States. However, of course, data and privacy are still a big topic – especially if we talk about data that is being used to track people, for example in the office. But the restrictions in the United States are less than in Europe. I do expect that America will eventually implement some sort of GDPR-guidelines as well, I believe they have to, considering the growing number of digital tools. So, I think we could say that both continents have their advantages. The United States is embracing new technologies faster, but Europe is more aware of the data issues that smart technology may bring.”

New ways of working

And lastly, the United States appears to be different in adopting new ways of working. Of course, parts of America are already running ahead. But Europe shows more foresight when it comes to adopting more flexible and non-hierarchical ways of working. I believe the United States will follow, but it will take a little bit more time!

More about the New York Real Estate Tech Week?

The theme of MIPIM this year was Matching User Expectations. One of the talks that stood out most to me was the opening keynote of Lisa Picard. Are you curious why? Read more about skills and adaptability here.

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