Australian start-up launches AR app that puts technology to commercial use
An Australian start-up has launched an augmented reality (AR) app called Realar Places as a sales tool for the property industry.
The app, which was created by tech entrepreneurs, Dr Dan Swan and Keith Ahern, uses Apple’s ARKit framework to give builders the ability to showcase off-the-plan houses. It does this by placing a virtual house in a real space for buyers to walk through and experience in life-sized 3D. Users can upload models but in the future, Realar Places will also integrate with CRM platforms and use GPS functionality.
The app works on any flat surface where a model can be rendered, fusing the real-world environment and a 3D rendering of the prospective home. Users can then view the layout, stroll through rooms and even look out the digital windows at the real view outside.
“Realar is a game-changer for the property industry. It helps builders, developers, architects and sales teams overcome a major barrier to off-the-plan sales, namely buyer balking at trying to visualise their dream home on an empty block of dirt,” says Dan.
“Consumers are also looking for more practical ways to use AR with their smart phones and tablets without the need for clunky goggles and headsets that accompany virtual reality.”
The app works for both single and double storey designs thanks to a clever, virtual elevator that lets the user experience the upper level. Apartment layouts, rooms and balconies can also be viewed using Realar Places.
It supports all common 3D model formats, including Filmbox, through common authoring software such as 3DStudioMax, Unity 3D, Unreal, Revit and even Sketchup. The full set of supported formats includes Alembic, Wavefront Object, Polygon and Standard Tessellation Language.
Realar Places was ‘incubated’ through Byron Bay-based co-working and innovation hub StartInno Ventures. It will initially focus on the Australian market but, Dan says, there are plans in place to quickly take the application to international markets.
“The United States and Britain are certain markets for us but there is no real limit to the exciting opportunities for growth and scale around the world.”
Realar Places is compatible with Apple devices that use the ARKit framework and is available from the App Store. An Android release using Google’s ARCore technology is planned for April.