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Augmented reality is allowing buyers and brokers to “virtually stage” a room and fill it with furnitureReal estate brokerage Sotheby’s has launched a new augmented reality app that allows buyers to instantly view the room in different furnished perspectives
With augmented reality, picture overlays appear on a physical photo of the room, similar to how Pokémon Go works with its surrounding environmentThis is different from virtual reality, which creates a new world.
Sotheby’s recently showed off its augmented reality app, “Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty,” for a $7 million New York loftThe unfurnished loft allowed brokers to show buyers what rooms would look like with bedroom, dining room, and home office sets, among other itemsUsers also can easily test different furnishing styles, such as “modern” versus “traditional.” They can also virtually walk around a room while holding the phone to get a sense of how much space they have.
Sotheby’s says the new app could save on staging costs“There’s a cost to physical staging,” says John Passerini, global vice president of interactive marketing at Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “And there’s even an environmental impact to it—carting [the furnishings] from one apartment to another. Plus, you can’t do things on the flyOnce you choose a physical staging set, that’s itSo if a client doesn’t like the modern furniture you’ve chosen, too bad.”
Sotheby’s says the app is the first of its kind to be released by a real estate companyHowever, there are several other similar AR apps on the market from other industriesFor example, IKEA has an AR app that allows users to place IKEA furniture into a roomHouzz, Overstock.com, Lowe’s Companies Inc., and Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s Pottery Barn all have similar apps, too.
Passerini says updates will roll out in the coming months on the Sotheby’s app, such as an update to allow users to break up furniture sets and spread them around the roomThe sky’s the limit as technology evolves, Passerini told Bloomberg“We’re the first real estate company to step into this worldThe textures—and ability to do these things—are really here for the first time.”
Source: “Augmented Reality Is Coming for the Real Estate Industry,” Bloomberg (March 27, 2018)
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