Real Estate Now Using Augmented Reality Technology

Real Estate Now Using Augmented Reality Technology

With her new wine bar opening in Somers, N.Y. (Winchester County), Stephanie Small took a long time to decide on which countertop she should get.

She was concerned about the durability of the countertop as well as the price and what was troubling Stephanie the mast was that she couldn’t envision how the countertop would appear on the 16 feet long bar both from the inside and the outside through the window. She stated that she spent several hours attempting to visualize this and could not make it happen.

She had a friend that worked in the countertop industry for a company called Cambria, they are located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and manufacture countertops. Her friend told her that the company released a brand new augmented reality app, and that this was able to apply digital images to the real world that could be observed through the lens of a smart phone.

Stephanie downloaded this app to her phone and she followed the instructions which were to point the phone at the bar area where the countertop was going to be installed. When she was able to look at this image closely she could see straight away that a countertop that had a marble top that was dark gray was not going to work. This is because it would look too similar to the concrete floor. Ms Small remarked that it was incredible to observe the whole thing in a real setting and that her vision had been changed by this event.

The home augmented reality phenomenon is being spearheaded by Cambria alongside home furnishing giants such as Wayfair and Ikea. The technology works by superimposing an image that is generated by computer of a real-life object so that customers can observe what a particular piece of furniture will appear like in the location of their choice. It is estimated by some industry experts that augmented reality for mobile will overtake virtual reality technology where people fully immerse themselves in a virtual world thanks to the use of a headset or goggles.

Augmented reality technology has in fact been around for a number of years but has gone largely unnoticed before it was introduced to the public last summer. At this time the ARKit, was released by Apple. With this kit developers can create their own apps using augmented reality. After this, Apple upgraded its operating system so that the compatibility was significantly improved. This lead to millions of Apple users having access to a great augmented reality tool kit, which could be easily downloaded from the app store.

Digi-Capital is an augmented reality company located in Menlo Park, California and they advise on both augmented and virtual reality. The managing director, Tim Merel, believes that by the end of the year 2018 that around nine hundred million smart phones and tablet devices will have the capability to support augmented reality apps. These apps will be developed from tool kits such as Facebook’s Camera Effects, Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore. By 2021 Merel believes that this number will grow to more than 3 billion devices.

Currently the augmented reality developers are creating tools apps that are really simple. If you want a digital ruler then MeasureKit is just what you need, and floor plan creation is simplified by using PLNAR to record a room’s exact dimensions. In the real estate world there is an app called Homesnap, which is a search engine that will display property lines around a home.

When you’re able to swap or move images at a push of a button, you can convey the “what-ifs instantaneously” to clients, making the decision-making process quicker, said Matthew Miller, the founder of

StudioLAB, a design and architectural firm, founder Matthew Miller based in Manhattan said that the ability to move or to swap images on your smart phone will enable clients to answer those “what if” questions straight away.

The chief marketing officer for Cambria, Brian Peters, made the comment that ease of use was vital for this new technology to succeed. He actually tested their app on his 41 year old wife and 12 year old daughter to make sure that the app met this criteria.

Brian Peters went on to say that augmented reality will also assist the manufacturers of home goods who need to send out swatches or samples. The app would help potential customers to narrow down choices before there was any need for a sample.

SGA’s director of virtual construction and design, Michael Schroeder, stated that the use of augmented reality would help to bridge a major data gap that developers were suffering from. SGA is a design and architectural company that has offices in both Boston and New York. As an example of this, Schroeder says that building site traffic patterns could be shown, or the technology could show different building materials textures. All this could be achieved while a developer walks the site with an iPad and changes can be made fast.

Schroeder stated that both architects and builders had a lot of things to assess during the design phase of a project and that changes are constantly made. Technology that allows for the observing of a shadow impact from a building on the area surrounding it could tell the designer that the height of the building needs changing.

A Los Angeles located augmented reality company, Daqri, has developed a smart construction helmet to assist engineers and builders. These helmets have the glasses for augmented reality built in to them. When the helmet is worn a user will be able to observe data about machines such as the rotation speed of a generator and the last time that it was checked. There is also a thermal camera included which will display the temperature of pipes. It will be possible for colleagues that are located remotely to witness a repair and send additional instructions if these are required.

Clelia Warburg Peters, the president of Warburg Realty president, Clelia Warburg Peters believes that augmented reality has the potential to be a critical tool when it comes to home purchases. Real estate brokers have been using virtual reality for some time to persuade customers to purchase homes that are located far away. But with augmented reality the user is placed in the actual space and questions such as “what is” and “what it could be” are answered a lot more easily.

Warburg Peters stressed that home buying was emotional and that changing and personalizing things really could make the decision making process a lot faster.

Based in New York and Istanbul, Pandora Reality is a developer of augmented reality and creates tools for developers and brokers who want to demonstrate the potential of an undeveloped space. The head of operations in the USA, Alper Guler, believes that this technology could be used by marketers of real estate so that their client’s attention can be held.

He went on to say that buying a home can take weeks and keeping client engagement with just a website link was not going to cut it.

Mathew Miller felt that a drawback of augmented reality was that the computer generated image did not look real enough. He stated that the images really looked “fake” at the moment.

Miller argued that augmented reality will really take off when it is hard to tell the difference between the computer generated image and the real thing. He felt that there would not be a long time to wait for this.

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