- Autonomous and transforming cars will change how we get around.
- Drones, high-tech cameras and 4-D virtual reality will change how homes are marketed and shown.
- Jeans and other wearables will change how we interact with our environments.
Stefan Swanepoel, a bestselling author and CEO of RealSure, Inc., gave Realtors at the recent Triple Play Conference a glimpse of how emerging technologies will reshape the real estate industry of tomorrow.
Below, you’ll find eight emerging technologies that may soon reshape real estate as we know it.
1. Google’s Projects Ara and FI: Customize your phone, not just your apps
Google’s Project Ara seeks to deliver the mobile Internet to the 5 billion people who do not currently own a smartphone. Unlike today’s smartphones, which have a static base unit for which you purchase apps, Ara starts with an “endoskeleton,” the structural base of the phone. Users buy interchangeable modules enabling them to completely customize both the look of their phone as well as the features it contains. Look for a limited pilot market in 2016.
Project FI is designed to connect your unlocked cell phone (Android only) to the tower or network with the most powerful signal, even when you are abroad. You pay $20 for unlimited calls and texts, and $10 per gigabyte of data. In the U.S., service is a combination of T-Mobile and Sprint. There are no overage fees. Current challenges include that the service still doesn’t work quite as advertised and that you cannot make phone calls and use cellular data simultaneously. Participation is currently by invitation.
2. Autonomous driving cars
The self-driving car will soon find its way into real estate. This raises a variety of issues that the industry will have to address, including who will be responsible for coordinating client appointments and showings — would those flow through the brokerage, the agent or perhaps a third party? Also, if there is an accident while the car is being used for a showing, who is responsible?
3. Convert your car into a personal airplane
For those who really want to push the envelope on showings of waterfront or out-of-area showings, the Aeromobil can convert from a car into an airplane.
4. Drones, wearables and the Nixie flying camera
Drones are already being used for aerial photography in real estate. The Nixie flying camera is a combination of a drone and a wearable. Nixie converts into a small drone that can follow you, take pictures or shoot video to give you a whole new way to view the world and what you do.
In the future, the listing agent might unlock a listing remotely, and then use Nixie in combination with Siri to remotely show the property. The drone follows the buyers through the house, allowing the listing agent to comment on what the buyers are viewing.
5. Jeans — the latest in wearables
Google’s Project Jacquard has produced conductive yarn that is tough enough for industrial weaving, including mass-market apparel and upholstery production. Google’s first design partner is Levi Strauss & Co.
The conductive yarn can be woven directly into virtually any type of fabric in any color or design. Rather than a watch or a bracelet, the threads and buttons will be used as a new kind of touch screen that you can use to activate a mobile device, monitor your vital signs or even turn on your TV from the arm of your sofa.
6. Marriott Oculus Rift: 4-D reality becomes real
Marriott’s Oculus Rift gives the user a four-dimensional experience that lets you see, hear, feel and smell where you are visiting virtually. This technology will one day allow clients to view properties from anywhere in the world and have an experience so real that it will be virtually identical to viewing the property in person.
For example, if you were viewing a property in San Francisco, you could feel the fog coming off the bay and the wind blowing in your hair, creating the illusion that you are actually there.
7. IKEA takes home decorating to a whole new level
While virtual staging has been around for a number of years, IKEA’s augmented reality catalogue takes it to an entirely new level. Simply select the item you want from the catalogue, put it on the floor in the room where you want to place the furniture, aim your mobile device at it and then view what the furniture would look like in that space.
The application is a tremendous tool for clients who want to envision what different types of furniture will look like in their new home, especially if it is vacant.
8. RoboBees to the rescue
Robotics will transform almost every aspect of our lives. As the collapse of honeybee populations worldwide continues and threatens the food supply, Harvard’s “Robobees” may be the solution.
As compared to real honeybees, Robobees are more efficient at pollinating crops as well as defending them from insect predators.
The speed of innovation continues to increase at a dizzying pace. What’s coming is nothing less than mind-boggling and the changes will soon transform the real estate business in ways we can’t even begin to envision.
Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at www.RealEstateCoach.com/