As Google Glass prepares to move from testing into production, real estate agents and app designers are excited about its potential to revolutionize home buying. Trulia announced an early app in June, and other real estate websites such as Zillow soon followed. Just as the Internet revolutionized home selling by helping buyers view listings and get estimates, Google Glass enhances this capability by adding a portable, hands-free view and interface. Basically, anything a smartphone or tablet can do for real estate buying, Google Glass can do potentially better. (Photo by tedeytan via Flickr)
Viewing Local Listings
Current apps support home shopping using smartphones and tablets. One app category naturally suited to Google Glass is GPS-guided local listing displays.
Say you want a home with a certain number of rooms at an approximate price within a set distance of a specific zip code or GPS location. Existing apps let you browse databases of websites such as ForRent.com for homes matching your criteria.
Google Glass combines this with a hands-free view. Imagine you’re physically standing in a neighborhood you want to move to and Google Glass uses your GPS coordinates to project a display of all suitable listings within a set number of blocks. Alternately, instead of physically traveling to the location, you could enter a desired geo-position and get a virtual view. A worker preparing to relocate from the United States to a company branch in Mexico or China could look at properties without leaving his current residence.
Another natural fit for Google Glass is apps providing virtual property walk-throughs. Multimedia virtual tour technology has been around as long as the Internet, and has produced sophisticated software integrating photos, slideshows and videos with social media into a complete digital marketing package. To this equation, Google Glass potentially adds virtual walk-throughs with a hands-free view that more closely approximates live touring.
Picturing Yourself in Your New House
A creative app designer could take virtual walk-throughs a step further by integrating animation. High Fidelity co-founder Ryan Downe has demonstrated how Google Glass can control an animated avatar representing the user. Substituting photography for animation, this can let real estate agents provide home buyers the experience of watching themselves walk through their new home, much as car salespeople offer buyers test drives.
Visualizing Your Future Home
This application of Google Glass can be expanded even further by applying virtual home design software such as the type home improvement chain Lowe’s uses to let property owners visualize how they want to improve their homes before buying supplies. A Google Glass real estate app could elevate such software to allow buyers the ability to visualize how they might use an existing property or build on undeveloped land.
Hands-free Communication with Agents and Lenders
Another category of apps Google Glass can support is those that facilitate unified communication between buyers and agents, or lenders. Existing apps let agents keep in touch with buyers through email contact lists and instant message notifications on their smartphones. Google Glass can leverage the same communications tools in a hands-free environment.
Guest post contributed by Michael Blackmon – Michael started building apps when he was in college. His clients are mostly in the outdoor industry, so he can travel to all the beautiful places in America. Every time he writes off travel expenses on his taxes he snickers.