We’re constantly inundated with tech developments being touted as the best, the most advanced, the newest…the list of superlatives goes on and on. To be sure, sometimes the tech is that impressive. Blockchain, for instance, really will probably reshape a lot of industries. Self-driving cars and automation in general is going to put a lot of people out of a job. The Hyperloop, if it ever materializes, would revolutionize transportation.
But beyond the tech itself, there’s another factor that determines whether a launch is a success. That thing is accessibility. The best technology in the world is irrelevant if it can’t find a market or be deployed successfully. Sometimes, the most high-tech solution isn’t the best one, if it stops people from getting their hands on it. This is as critical for big companies as it is for startups.
This is part of the philosophy behind the growth of RealAR, an Australian startup that creates 3D, augmented reality models of homes and other buildings based on 2D floor plans. In order to view the models, RealAR uses a phone or tablet app. “We wanted our spatial visualization tech to be a mass-market (AR works on about 1BN+ phones/tablets), life-sized experiences and portable, so it works in almost any space without additional gear,” said RealAR’s CEO and co-founder Dan Swan in an email interview with Propmodo.
Sure, it might be more immersive to view a property with a VR headset like Oculus Quest, but how many people actually own those headsets? Meanwhile, everyone has a phone or tablet with them practically all the time. That accessibility means that RealAR can find use in other niches beyond home buying, as well, whether that is in the office or the field.
“How long phones/tablets will remain the final input/output device for AR remains to be seen,” Dan added. “AR glasses maybe 5-10 years away even though that also excites us as we’ll have ready-to-go content. For now, we see the interim experience will be the “camera” as the browser into the augmented real estate world – Google Maps’ new AR navigation feature is a great example.”
In fact, this priority on ease of access points to another reality in the real estate world. While specific comparative data is hard to find, many more homes are sold than commercial buildings each year. Commercial transactions last year totaled over $530 billion in volume, while judging from the NAR’s volume and median price figures, the residential sector saw over $1.4 trillion in sales last year. The enormity of that number is hard to fully grasp. What’s easier to grasp is the idea that a market that much bigger makes it a little easier to attract consumer attention. More real estate agents means more prospects means more business, at least in theory.