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Are You Ready for “Augmented Realty”?

Everyone loves a good bargain, right? Imagine holding your smartphone in front of you with it’s camera turned on as you shop. As your smartphone recognizes different products (via barcode or label recognition), the price is displayed on the screen, along with price comparisons at competing stores, and a list of recent product reviews. Ah ha! You find the same product at the store across the mall for $50 less! You head across the mall and make the purchase. You can thank “augmented reality” for the savings!

Sounds a little like science fiction, but the technology is closer than you think.

Heads Up Display on BMW

Heads Up Display on a BMW

The newest buzzword in the world of technology is a concept called “augmented reality” – in essence, it’s the practice of blending real-world video with computer-generated graphics that help provide additional information to the viewer. If you have ever watched a modern NFL football game, you have seen augmented reality in action. The digitally-inserted first down marker is a perfect example of this concept — a piece of digital information is laid over a video of a live sporting event. Even today, some automobiles on the market have “heads up” displays, projecting data on top of your real-world windshield.

Things are poised to get a whole lot more interesting in the years ahead — especially for real estate. Let’s consider the concept of “Augmented Realty“.

Imagine walking down a street and finding a house for sale. Simply pull out your smartphone and point it toward the house you are interested in. As your built-in GPS recognizes your exact location, and your smart phone recognizes the direction you are pointing your device, your screen starts to display data about house you are looking at. Instantly, information about pricing, property taxes, and interior space all pop into view. Turn your camera up the street and see a row of house data pop up. You can get an instant read on the neighborhood. This technology is right around the corner.

When the newest iPhone model appeared on the scene last month, it included a number of modest upgrades – a better resolution camera, faster processor and an electronic compasss were among some of the upgrades found on the phone. While these improvements aren’t especially groundbreaking, it is the combination of these features that finally make a portable “augmented reality” device possible. There have been some reports that with the release of Apple’s 3.1 iPhone software later this year, the first crop of augmented reality applications will hit the market.

It’s my strong belief that real estate professionals that stay on the forward-edge of technology will always have an competitive advantage over their peers that take a wait-and-see approach. Stay tuned to the AgentSuccess blog to follow the latest technological developments in real estate and real estate marketing.

If you are interested, take a look at some examples below. Keep in mind the technology is still in it’s infancy!

My Demonstration of Augmented Reality from GE’s Ecoimagination site:
This is some pretty amazing stuff. Try it for yourself at this this location:

Example of Real Estate Augmented Realty
Below is a great example of a real estate augmented reality demonstration.

Augmented Reality: Subway Finder