The real estate industry got a (new) perfect partner when it comes to integrating with a tech trend.
Augmented reality (AR) is the chosen one for this nuptial.
This partnership seems pretty much a common sense approach, right?
Real estate properties require visuals in every way, from the designing and planning process to the building process and to the buying process event.
We like to see what is about to be built or the layout of things are going to be, like blueprints, design layouts and even just pictures on listings.
That’s a very natural response from us when it comes to building and buying property. We would like to see it because it is something that will become a physical object.
This partnership with the real estate industry and technology is not an entirely new concept.
Property tech or proptech is gaining much attention, and that industry is rapidly growing with many new ideas popping out.
A study by investment firm Taronga Group’s technology investment arm Real Tech Ventures and KPMG stated Investment capital into proptech companies will reach $20 billion by 2020.
Plus, AR is not a new advancement in technology anymore, it has been around for a while, and we can judge by the excitement it brings to the general public if it is still relevant.
The phrase AR is not garnering as many ooh’s and ahh’s anymore, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter anymore.
To even further elaborate on the importance or the push for AR into our lives, Apple and Google both announced AR integration.
ARkit by Apple and ARcore by Google aim to create an opportunity for developers to implement AR into their designing process.
I mean, AR is basically creating a reality that isn’t exactly there, which is definitely helpful for many industries that rely on the visual aspect of things.
Hence, AR is a practical way of creating the visual that the real estate industry needs.
Interior design firms have taken that up and are creating images that can be projected on our devices and see how it might look like in reality.
Even IKEA has created an app that will help you visualise the furniture in your house.
This visual element is vital before making a huge investment in buying the expensive furniture or buying a house.
As shown, the AR implementation on Apple devices has proven to open much more opportunity.
And, an Australian start-up, Realer, has launched a world-first augmented reality app that puts Apple’s exciting ARKit framework to use. They have taken AR to a more practical level and is a global first use of Augmented Reality for the property industry.
The app gives builders the ability to showcase off-the-plan houses by placing a virtual house in a real space for buyers to walk through and experience in life-sized 3D. It works on any flat surface where a model can be rendered. Realar fuses the real-world environment and a 3D rendering of the prospective home, allowing users to view the layout, stroll through rooms and even look out the digital windows at the real view outside.
Practicality clearly came first with that idea.
However, what is the longevity of this technology and what’s the future with it for the proptech industry?
CEO and co-found of Realar, Dr Dan Swan, gave us his insight on this.
AR is getting a lot of attention lately even though it’s still pretty new, where do you think AR is heading business-wise?
It’s important to understand that AR isn’t really that new but that it’s been reinvented into what we call AR2.0. Just like phones evolved into smartphones and the web to social media – I wrote a blog on this recently AR2.0, what is it and why you need it.
For businesses, the same applies, AR2.0 is a whole new platform of opportunity.
As far as property development goes, why AR? How do you think consumers will receive the technology?
Both Apple and Google, two of the largest firms in the world, now have AR platforms baked-in to roughly three-quarters of a billion devices. So consumers now can have truly amazing experiences.
Property developers are quickly learning that ‘pixels are cheaper than bricks’ are a quickly embracing how to create, market and sell through AR.
AR is commonly discussed among the tech community, but what about those outside of the community? Do you think AR will ever become mainstream or a necessity?
For sure. “PropTech” is a fast-moving industry, so the more that it evolves, the more both business and consumers will access AR seamlessly.
The industry has tried all the gizmos and gadgets that need goggles and cameras. Now people are literately carrying that ‘gear’ in their pockets.
Do you feel that all industries can embrace the trend moving towards AR?
I think it’s a question of if rather than when. Interior Design is already getting some amazing sales results with AR and furniture (here’s a great example of 11x increase on Houzz).
Outside of PropTech, I’ve seen people running bitcoin exchanges using AR which is pretty cool, so the FinTech and AR space are already lighting up.
With Dr Swan giving the seal of approval that AR is a necessity, he understands the discourse of the industry with the providing visuals and the importance of visuals.
We are visual creatures in many ways; maybe AR is where we should set our sight on.