Virtual tours become reality

Virtual tours become reality

Property seekers can now inspect listings via virtual reality with Realestate.com.au’s launch of a mobile VR app.

‘realestate VR’ was built for Google’s new VR platform, Daydream, and uses technology from Matterport, a 3D visualisation company that News Corp invested in this year.

Nigel Dalton, chief inventor of News Corp’s property subsidiary REA Group, said the app would change how property was bought.

“By 2020, most Australian homes will have VR headsets, and we’re confident the leading real estate agents will embrace virtual reality to create a new experience for a new generation of property seekers,” he said.

Potential buyers can take 3D tours from the comfort of their own home rather than needing to attend inspections.

REA plans to expand the number of listings as the technology becomes more widely adopted.

News Corp has also invested in 3D visualisation company Diakrit, and augmented reality start up Plattar.

REA gets serious about innovation

The launch of realestate VR follows the creation of a new “invention space” at REA’s Melbourne headquarters.

The purpose-built facility is designed to facilitate the design, creation and experimentation of new technologies that enhance the consumer experience of properties, such as VR, augmented reality, drones and robotics.

REALABs will also serve as a training centre, a space to host tech start-ups and industry events.

A similar innovation space was opened at News Corp Australia’s Sydney headquarters last month.

Mr Dalton took up the chief inventor role as part of the launch of REALABS.

A global search to replace his previous role as chief information officer, now reconceived as chief engineer, is now under way.

REALABS will officially open this month.

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