How augmented reality technology is changing the way we buy

Every builder, designer or property developer knows that designing and building a dream home can be a lengthy process for both clients and businesses alike. Fortunately, there are new and exciting technologies cropping up every day that are helping house hunters to create their dream homes without all the fuss. 

The rise of augmented reality tools in the real estate sector means that there are plenty of new solutions to help buyers imagine that dream home, without having to step inside a show home. A new player in the New Zealand market, Reactar, has created homeAR – a mobile app uses augmented reality (AR) to allow home buyers to visualise to-scale designs from property developers. 

We talked to Richard Penny, founder of Reactar and makers of homeAR, to understand a bit more about homeAR and how it could help you on your journey.

homeAR app Firstly, what is augmented reality?

Reactar: Augment reality (AR) is the technology which adds to your real-world vision, with the use of computer-generated graphics to form a composite view. Right now this technology is mainly delivered by smartphones and tablets, but smart-glasses and headsets are starting to make their way into the mainstream. AR is often confused with virtual reality (VR) which completely replaces the real world with digitally-created content. The two technologies share some similarities but are quite different and have different purposes. Why did you create homeAR?

Reactar: We knew that AR would be a game-changer when it comes to the property market. The ability to see a home, understand the design and walk through it – all without having to step foot inside a show home - would change the way people buy properties. Trying to understand what a house could look like from a 2D render and a floor plan isn’t easy, and trying to imagine a design on your plot of land is nearly impossible for most of us. 

The homeAR app alleviates many of these unknowns and allows users to browse available designs and visualise how the home could look on their section, or in a particular space, through their smartphone. How can homeAR help Kiwi’s on their property journey?

Reactar: homeAR’s app is perfect for anyone starting the journey to build or design their own home. It can help you visualise the future of your build and help you get a feel for the design – all without leaving the comfort of your living room and without spending a dollar.

homeAR uses of your device's camera feature, giving you the ability to see how a home will look in two modes. The first is Outdoor mode, a great way to see how houses look on a section of land, to scale. The second is Table mode, which presents you with visualisations of homes on a smaller scale. Here you can have a birds-eye view and strip back layers to see a cross-section of your potential home. 

As a user, you’ll have direct communication with your chosen designers - giving you one portal to keep on top of it all and a hands-on feel for customising the design of your home. You’ll also be able to save a shortlist of new build options available from leading builders, developers, designers and real estate companies in one easy place, streamlining your design and building journey. 

The homeAR app is available for smartphones on iOS and Android. For more information and videos of the app in action, head on over to homeAR's website.

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