July 16, 2021
From commercial real estate developers to home decor brands, the industry’s innovators have embraced augmented reality (AR) for its ability to create new worlds of possibility. A recent report by Deloitte noted that half of commercial real estate investors think augmented reality and similar technologies are essential to the future of the space. If you’re interested in learning about some incredible augmented reality real estate examples, then look no further. This blog is a deep dive into some of the industry’s most exciting applications.
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Augmented reality is the use of advanced visualization technology to enrich or reproduce real-world spaces digitally, enabling innovative ways of interacting with physical environments.
As the real estate business has transitioned to an online model, AR applications in the industry have grown steadily. AR is now used in facilities management, construction, residential real estate, interior design, and much more. This rapid growth is driven by the power of the technology and the efficiency gains it offers.
Augmented reality — with its ability to project fully realized virtual structures into real-world spaces — is an answer to the prayers of real-estate visionaries everywhere. Using this technology, commercial real estate developers can show potential investors or tenants engaging digital mockups of their plans superimposed onto the environments around them. An updated version of scale models, AR allows entrepreneurs to communicate their dreams to their audience more tangibly than they ever have before.
Global commercial real estate firm Newmark Knight Frank has already put AR to work selling their visions at scale. To drum up interest for a new project in New York, the company used the technology to give walkthroughs of the unbuilt development. As David A. Falk, a regional president at the firm, observed, the innovative approach “certainly provides a different level of experience than a brochure.” This observation comes as no surprise, given the level of detail AR can create: The technology can bring everything from ductwork to lighting solutions to life.
Anyone who’s ever tried to decorate an empty room — let alone an empty house — knows our internal visualizations are often a poor preview of real-life results. More often than not, our impoverished abilities lead to one thing: poor design choices. This problem can be personal and professional, as interior decorators can also struggle to relate their designs to clients.
When imagination just isn’t cutting it, AR can help bridge the gap. Whether you’re a professional interior designer or just someone who likes nice things, AR applications can help you see what that purple will look like on your wall, how that couch will complement your living room, or if that light works with the rest of the kitchen fixtures. Instead of relying on trial and error, the technology allows users to rapidly iterate on their ideas before making a choice — an innovation that might just make most returns a thing of the past.
This potential is precisely what led IKEA to launch its own AR interior decorator app: IKEA Place. Using this mobile app, users can virtually drag and drop furniture and other products right into any room in their home. When consumers finally make their purchase — which they can do right through the app — they can do so with confidence. According to Michael Valdsgaard, a tech lead on the project, the app “makes it easier to make buying decisions in your own place, to get inspired and try many different products, styles and colors in real-life settings.” It also allows its users to try over 2000 of the furniture retailer’s products, with more coming.
Property development involves millions of moving parts: The sites could be home to hundreds of people, thousands of tons of equipment, and miles of wiring. These operations also are a symphony of human effort involving many different teams working simultaneously on the various aspects of a given project. This operational complexity, exacerbated by the fact that crews often aren’t working from the same information, can easily lead to costly downtime if something has to be redone. With so much that could go wrong — and so much on the line — property developers could use all the help they can get when it comes to keeping things on track.
With the ability to overlay environments with a rich set of situational intelligence, AR is an ideal tool for averting calamity on the construction site. Architects can review structures for misalignments, structural imbalances, missing elements, and other mistakes using AR-powered headsets. Once spotted, they can direct their teams to address problems that might otherwise go unseen immediately.
This is exactly how Clayco used AR when working for Pfizer on a massive development project in St. Louis. Instead of entirely relying on the eyes and experience of their construction leads to head-off problems, the firm used AR to perform regular checkups on the site. As Tomislav Ziga, a vice president for virtual design and construction at the company, explains, “We can see that this patch of floor needs to be leveled a bit or this wall needs to be adjusted.” The technology allowed them to rapidly find and fix issues on the fly, ensuring that minor errors didn’t snowball.
Built to enrich surroundings with information, AR offers an innovative solution to sizing up spaces. An AR application can analyze and report on an object or area’s height, width, and depth without requiring any real-world demarcation. A user could simply point their mobile device at what they need to measure, and the app would provide an accurate calculation.
This is the basic concept behind AirMeasure, a mobile app that leverages AR to measure rooms and generate floor plans. By just pointing the camera at a given area, users can stretch the virtual measuring tape across the space to quickly get its distance in feet and inches. Users can use the tool to trace the edges of a home and build out a floor plan in real-time. The app also makes measuring those tricky-to-reach places — like corners and ceilings — accessible. This last feature is handy for those not too fond of ladders, outstretched arms, and awkward team efforts.
One of the biggest responsibilities landlords have is making sure their tenants’ living spaces are in working order at all times. Because it doesn’t take long for frustration to build, even the most minor issues need to be addressed quickly. Unfortunately, landlords often manage multiple properties and cross significant distances to fix all their clients’ concerns. Angry tenants aren’t just tricky to assuage: They’re a risk to the bottom line.
AR offers a solution for landlords tired of all the travel. Using this technology, a building manager can create a digital twin of a property. Tenants can use their mobile devices to report issues — like a leaky pipe or broken elevator — that will be reflected on this virtual facsimile. With access to this intel, maintenance teams can immediately know the location, type, and extent of the problem, enabling rapid, accurate resolutions to tenant problems.
This is just one of many examples of how Resonai’s Vera can be put to work. The AR platform can fully reproduce a physical site in digital space, allowing users to monitor the building, manage its use, and perform predictive maintenance. This powerful application is one of the most exciting augmented reality real estate examples. To understand the impact it could have on your maintenance overhead, try this ROI calculator.
While these examples demonstrate the breadth of applications the technology has in the industry, it is far from a complete list. This level of adoption makes sense, as AR provides excellent solutions to many of real estate’s toughest challenges. For many in the space, the time to start implementing AR is now.
This is why Resonai created Vera. Vera is an AR platform that transforms physical spaces into interactive virtual environments. Real estate innovators can use Vera to tour unfinished properties, diagnose problems from a distance, and iterate designs on the fly. From overseeing a construction project to managing a building, Vera provides you with the power you need to maximize efficiency while minimizing your costs.
Want to find out how Vera can enhance your real estate operations? Reach out today and set up a free demonstration.
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