The AR/VR revolution is here, whether industries are ready for it or not.
Research from 360 Market Updates predicts that the augmented and virtual reality market will balloon to a $220 billion industry by 2028. Major brands have continued to drum up interest in products that carry these technologies, particularly wearables like the Meta Quest series and the Apple Vision Pro. Smart glasses are a great example of this tech, providing a uniquely immersive virtual experience that either conjures up a completely virtual reality or creates a mixed reality within your real surroundings. With the help of apps and software, users can record images, audio, or video, access the Internet, and see the world in a new way.
The most accessible wearable tech to the public is the flagship pair of Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses. In partnership with Meta (formerly known as Facebook), this innovative eyewear includes features like a dual 5 MP camera with automatic light adjustment and stereoscopic photo depth technology, perfect for taking photos without pulling out your phone. With open-ear speakers, three built-in microphones, and voice and touch control, you can even take calls or tell the glasses to post a photo. This kind of tech isn’t just targeting personal users looking to dip their toes into AR/VR – it also has significant implications for different sectors, particularly real estate.
Real Estate Made Globally Accessible
With the introduction of AR/VR, the traditional open house may never be the same again. Now, it’s no longer about a potential buyer’s location – they could view a home on the other side of the world with a digital walkthrough, mimicking a real-life house-hunting experience. This presents savings for both the real estate agent and the customer for travel time and transportation costs. Most importantly, it expands an agent’s potential buyer base beyond only those who can drive to the property.
With significant developments in real estate augmented tech, buyers may even be able to visualize and superimpose their furniture and preferred aesthetics to the space, which increases a sense of nostalgia, familiarity, and ownership – all factors that can contribute to a sale. IKEA’s Kreativ Scene Scanner function already does this, allowing users to make their current furniture disappear and preview IKEA furniture in their own space. AR/VR could also be ideal for properties where construction has yet to be completed.
Giving prospective buyers a preview of a finished and renovated space could be helpful for those who’ve read our article “The Big Revamp: Bring Your Bathroom into the 21st Century” and want to see how their vision would potentially come to life in a new location. On a practical note, this also gives real estate agents a larger time window to advertise a property and close a sale earlier than usual.
The Future of AR/VR in Real Estate
All this said, smart glasses and other wearable devices still have a long way to go before mainstream adoption. When buying a house or apartment, measurements matter. Despite strides in accurately scaling properties, a group of discerning buyers who would rather visit sites in person will remain. This allows them to assess other factors, such as noise levels, reception, neighbors, and the like. On a budget-related note, real estate agents who operate on a smaller scale may not be able to make the investment in AR/VR just yet.
And with the National Association of Realtors reporting that the age of the typical first-time home buyer is at an all-time high at 36 years old – up from 33 in 2021 – potential buyers may skew higher in age. They may be reluctant to rely on a purely digital property-buying process. However, virtual technology continues to evolve in leaps and bounds, and further developments are set to encourage more widespread use. For early adopters excited to reap the benefits of an enhanced real estate experience, the future only gets brighter from here.