Real estate is well aware of the potential that 3-D technology and virtual reality have to revolutionize the home-buying process, but augmented reality could be a new game-changer for home buyers and real estate professionals.

The judges at the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY)’s hackathon last week agreed. The app Augmented Estate took home $15,000 as the winner of the competition.

The Augmented Estate app in action. Credit: Prescriptive Data

Augmented Estate uses AR technology to incorporate real-time data from building controls systems and building sensor data into the real world. The app is geared toward building operators who can easily see points of interest and data points like where HVAC work is in a ceiling. Renters could also theoretically look up information about apartments, like when windows were most recently replaced, before signing leases.

Augmented reality isn’t fully immersive virtual reality, but instead layers computer-generated elements over a person’s view of the real world, most often through their smartphone camera or glasses such as Google Glass.

Augmented Estate. Credit: Prescriptive Data

The app uses Prescriptive Data‘s Nantum Building Operating System to visualize data points and offer recommendations to building operators about how to improve building operational performance, increase comfort for tenants and improve net operating income.

Augmented Estate is a project from a team at Prescriptive Data, which offers data tools across commercial real estate, multi-family buildings, retail, sports arenas and other venues. The app is being developed for desktop, iOS and Android but isn’t available for download yet.

The app will be paid for as an add-on service to Prescriptive Data’s other software, paid per square foot of a building. The company’s software products cost 10 cents per square foot to start.

Right now, 23 buildings throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York have signed up for Prescriptive Data’s services and had their data points mapped out via its software.

“The REBNYTech Hackathon program has been an excellent vehicle for demonstrating our pragmatic and nimble approach to technology innovation, and for connecting with like-minded people in the New York City tech community and amongst real estate owners, operators, and managers alike,” Prescriptive Data CEO Sonu Panda said in a statement.

The hackathon’s judges came from the accelerator MetaProp, Newmark Knight Frank, Silverstein Properties, Pur Ventures, REBNY, Oxford Properties and Camber Creek. Thirty-six tech startups competed.

Augmented Estate won an award at a REBNY event in October, too.

Email Emma Hinchliffe

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