Revolutionizing real estate with augmented reality apps

Principal Consultant , David Allison Inc.
  • Dec. 6, 2011

Imagine a world where there is no dividing line between physical and virtual realities. Where the real world interacts seamlessly with a computer-generated counterpart. It’s the kind of thing that makes for a great movie… but can it also make for a great real estate sell?

It just might.

It’s called augmented reality. And to be honest, I’m a definite newbie when it comes to this kind of technology. But already, I can see the speed at which it is changing and developing the way we can interact with all kinds of products is pretty mind-blowing. So I thought it was worth exploring here, on RENX.

Through the use of a camera phone or other similar device (such as an iPad), augmented reality apps are popping up that let you do things like view a building in your city and find out if there is available office space for rent in it or see what houses are for sale in your neighbourhood and their listing details.

And that’s at the basic level.

An augmented reality kiosk called “Digital Box” developed by LEGO Digital Systems and metaio shows what your LEGO kit will look like after has been built simply by scanning the kit over the Digital Box. It even shows little LEGO people going around their daily business inside.

Take that same technology and apply it to a life-sized building development and all of a sudden an empty plot of land comes alive as an 18-storey tower bustling with activity! All of the basics for a home – including what that home will look on-site and inside – will be in the palm of a potential homebuyer’s hand before they’ve even stepped foot inside a presentation centre or spoken to a sales representative.
It’s not hard to imagine augmented reality apps that also offer audio – perhaps including a real estate agent’s guided tour highlighting particular areas of interest via the screen.

Of course, there’s no telling how these apps will perform once they become popular and large numbers of people are using them to view real estate listings. But it seems like they could be a real-game changer. So, what do you think? Is augmented reality going be an effective way for users to find and buy real estate? Will this be a revolutionary tool for the industry? Send me a line. I might even share your thoughts and ideas in this space.


David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

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David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

Read more





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