Real estate may be brick and mortar business, but builders are going virtual to reach more buyers. For instance, augmented reality (AR), which involves adding data, music or other virtual information to real world objects, has been gaining in popularity in the property market.
While augmented reality was primarily limited to entertainment such as games in the past, it is also finding practical utility in home buying by connecting printed images to virtual information. For example, using Prisma Global’s snap2life software, a user may view a property brochure using a smartphone and the technology will enable viewing virtual objects such as videos of the model home or site related to the image seen.
Technologies that link print to value added information are already being used in mainstream media. AR has also been used in trade fairs where a visitor can access large amounts of information that is stored digitally, by pointing to a logo or image.
Interesting possibilities can be created when a buyer or renter is out looking for property. CommonFloor, an online property listing portal, hopes to improve the user’s experience in finding a property through its mobile application that features an ‘augmented view’.
The user can point her phone in any direction and the app, using the image from the phone’s camera, will automatically detect available properties in a specified range. Finding a property is simplified as listings at the site that are in the direction are visually presented.
Builders are also seeing value in the technology as it enables buyers to better visualise upcoming or current projects in an interactive manner. Varun Upadhyay of Jaiprakash Associates in Delhi mentioned that they started using AR since the end of 2012 and sales results have been positive.
Cost is a concern when using the technology. Rahul Dutta of Trimensions Metaverse, an AR software development firm, stated that while AR is becoming more mainstream, it is much more expensive than its web and mobile counterparts.
Also, the user needs a fairly high-end smartphone and good data connection.
Ozonegroup of Bangalore stated that they are yet to use AR but use tools for generating virtual walk-throughs that give the potential customer an idea of the look and feel of the apartment the person is planning to buy.
Augmented Reality, which enables access to virtual content like music and videos by training your smartphone on print, is helping homebuyers check out properties
Headline Going Virtually Real to Sell Property
Publication The Hindu Business Line Online
Edition – National
Date – 27th July 2013