Buyers are driving cameras through homes on the other side of the world

Luxury real estate developer using robot-like Beam Pro to sell high-end properties

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New technology is taking virtual tours a step further by letting buyers drive cameras mounted on remote-controlled vehicles through distant homes, venturing from room to room, peeking around corners and taking in near-360-degree views from multiple vantage points. San Francisco-based luxury real estate developer JMA Ventures LLC is using a system developed by Suitable Technologies Inc. to let homebuyers roam through its properties and communicate with sales agents in real time from anywhere in the world. The Beam Pro stands over 5 feet tall and can travel over 2 miles per hour. Key to the experience is Suitable Technologies' robot-like Beam Pro. The remote-controlled vehicle, which stands over 5 feet tall, transmits a video feed of homebuyers' faces onto a 17-inch screen and broadcasts their voices through six speakers arrayed on both Beam's front and back. Buyers, in turn, see their surroundings through Beam's wide-angle camera as they use a computer keyboard to guide i...