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Top 10 ways Google Glass could affect real estate

Google Glass is about to go mainstream, and there are hidden advantages of what is more than just a novel tool.

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Google Glass is coming at 100 mph

In 2014, it is said that Google Glass stores will begin popping up and it will no longer be tester geeks roaming the streets with computers on their eyes, no, they are about to go mainstream in a big way, leaving various industries considering how this technology will impact their own practice.

Jessi Hall is a former real estate broker and investment property manager, currently writing about real estate, VA loans and homeownership for Veterans United Home Loans. She offers that that the real estate industry will be tremendously impacted by Google Glass, in fact, changes are already taking place right now. In Hall’s words:

1. Take and share listing photos more easily.

I’ll make a radical statement: Once you share a photo via Google Glass, you’ll never bother waking up your smartphone to snap a pic again. As Google Glass Explorer Sarah Hill has pointed out, it takes more than a dozen clicks to share an image though your smartphone.

With Glass, it’s just a couple of temple clicks.

That simplicity is addictive. Plus, Google Glass photo quality is top-notch (and continues to get better with regular updates). Good photos? Quick photos? Fast sharing to all social media platforms? What more could a listing agent want?

2. Live virtual tours.

If you thought photo sharing was easy through Glass, try live video. Invite a long-distance client to tour a new property through a Google Hangout, the company’s live video tool.

Yes, smart alecks, you CAN conduct a Hangout through your smartphone. But as real estate agents like Melissa Marro mentioned during this recent Google Glass and real estate Hangout, video taken through Glass “gives people a more realistic perspective of a home.”

Think of it this way: Glass is worn over the user’s brow. That one simple characteristic gives viewers a more accurate perspective than a smartphone being waved around the room.

Plus, Google Glass enables hands-free video. Agents can now open a closet door or flick on a light switch at a client’s request without stopping to put down the phone. It’s a seemingly insignificant perk, but agents who experience the ease of Glass simply can’t work any other way.

3. Live contract assistance.

Need to guide your long-distance buyer or seller through a contract or disclosure form? Grab Glass and start a Hangout. Flip through the contract, zoom in on particular sections and answer any questions along the way.

4. Find local services.

Showing property in an unfamiliar neighborhood? One voice command to Glass puts a wealth of local information at your eyeball.

Upon hearing the voice command: “Google restaurants near me”, Glass returns a local map marked with every sushi spot, coffee shop and sandwich counter in the area. The command works with practically any type of service or business, including schools, senior centers, parks or shopping centers.

5. Easy video chats with other housing professionals.

In the hands of other real estate professionals, Google Glass could be a godsend. A home inspector with Google Glass could clamber up a ladder and explain to a buyer via Hangout why roof replacement is critical. A contractor could crawl along the foundation to point out potential leak sources.

Real estate agent and Google Glass explorer Alex Mosquera had the same thought when selling a short sale in need of repair. He recently lent Glass to a contractor so the lien-holder could understand the extent of the damage.

“The contractor explained the scope of the problem via Glass,” Mosquera said. “That way the lien-holder could see first-hand why the repairs were needed.”

6. Safety.

Real estate agents are already theorizing about the potential for a Google Glass safety app. “I see having an app where I can say ‘track me’,” said agent and software developer Chad LaFarge. “As I walk into a house, I have a gesture I can do that throws an alarm. That would either send a message to my broker or phone E911, and it marks my GPS coordinates every 30 seconds.”

It’s the perfect time for a new safety mechanism. The number of nonfatal assaults continues to increase in the real estate, rental and leasing industry, jumping from 170 in 2008 to 940 in 2010.

Could a Glass safety app have prevented at least one of those assaults?

7. Instant (yet discreet) notifications.

Out with a client, but anxiously awaiting a seller’s response to an offer? Glass provides instant (yet discreet) text, email and social media notifications.

It’s an easier (and much more polite) way to stay on top of your business than checking your phone every six seconds.

8. Buyer-friendly house hunting apps.

Glass also has benefits for potential home buyers. Real estate powerhouse Trulia is developing a house-hunting Glass app, which sends housing alerts to potential buyers. With a few temple swipes, Glass users can flip through listing photos, get directions to a home, hear a description or contact a real estate agent directly.

9. Be more competitive.

Real estate is a competitive field. Could Glass be the tool that distinguishes you as a forward-thinking, tech-savvy, top-notch real estate agent?

“The Realtors in my area, with markets coming up as they have been, they’ve been doing everything they can to become more competitive,” said LaFarge. “They want to get out there and get the business. One of the things that’s going to help them get the business is having the technology to do what someone else isn’t doing.”

Let’s face it: Glass is just plain COOL. It’s tough for a potential client not to be impressed by an agent with that sort of technology at their fingertips (or brow).

10. Who knows?

I’ll reiterate: Glass is just plain COOL. But the true potential of Glass is somewhat unknown at this point. Much of the device’s impact on real estate lies in the hands of “Glassware” app developers. Consider the possibilities tossed around by Hangout panelists Joshua Berg and LaFarge:

  • An app for appraisers with “speak to text” abilities
  • An app that provides live neighborhood details, sales prices and market information as you move through an area
  • An app designed to provide in-depth details to buyers as they tour a home (e.g. “carpet updated in 2011,” “exterior painted in 2010”)

Will Glass be the next “telegraph”? The next home computer? The next cell phone? Where exactly will software engineers take Google Glass? At this point, we’re not sure.

But we’ll certainly be along for the ride.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Jonathan Dalton

    September 5, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Discreet, perhaps, but you’re still going to look like a pompous, self-absorbed ass

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Tech Gadgets

Augmented reality start up shifts focus to handle new COVID-19 world

(TECH GADGETS) Augmented reality start up Magic Leap changes up their game plan to deal with what they believe the post-COVID-19 world will be like.

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This week augmented-reality startup Magic Leap, Inc. announced a shift away from consumer business towards enterprise products. A report by Bloomberg says the move has caused the company to cut about 1,000 employees, around half of its workforce to accommodate the change in business models. Once seen as the future of AR in the home, this move represents a drastic change for the startup darling.

Magic Leap was founded in 2011 whose IP (a lightweight headset using spatial computing technology to create sophisticated augmented reality experiences) attracted investment attention from big-hitters including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Alphabet Inc., and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. The startup raised more than $2.6 billion, becoming one of the most well-capitalized consumer hardware startups ever.

The company’s first headset was revealed in 2018 priced at $2,300 after years in development. Magic Leap emphasized a consumer-driven product, marketing the Magic Leap 1 Lightwear for its uses at home such as remote work, games, social media, and entertainment.

CEO Rony Abovitz wrote in a blog post that this shift is driven by the current pandemic. “The post-COVID economy will be one of resiliency and the ability for businesses to operate across vast distances and connect with their customers in ways that mimic physical interactions, but benefit from the speed and scale of high-speed networks, will be critical. Spatial computing will very much be part of that coming economic change. Magic Leap’s pioneering work in the field provides us with a rich platform of technology and know-how to help usher in this era of Spatial Transformation.”

According to TechCrunch, Magic Leap was already adapting their hardware for enterprise applications. Late last year, the release of the Magic Leap Enterprise Suite was announced, a $3,000 package that could compete with Microsoft’s AR HoloLens.

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Tech Gadgets

COVID-19 is a VR gaming boom-VR chair startup raises $1.8 million

(TECH GADGETS) New VR gaming chair could be just the push the VR industry needs to hit mainstream. Roto vr actually got better funding because of COVID-19.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has not been a great time for most of us, but for some startups there has been a silver lining. Certain products have begun to look more attractive to investors when faced with countless days sitting at home and looking for ways to pass the time. Roto VR, a startup that markets an interactive, 360-degree chair, is on the receiving end of this pandemic good fortune.

Roto VR recently raised about $1.8 million in a funding round led by Pembroke VCT. The chair is designed to address some of the problems with VR and make it more accessible to everyday users. The company was founded in 2015 by a pair of video game industry veterans, Elliott Myers and Gavin Waxkirsh.

VR games have not been the smash hit that some in the gaming industry were expecting. There are many challenges to the product from the consumer point of view. For one, many people experience minor to extreme motion sickness while playing. The amount of room required to essentially move around your home blindfolded is also a major pain point. People often find themselves tripping over cables and other house hold items, which ruins the immersive experience and leads to injuries.

The Roto VR is a motorized chair that allows people to play VR games while seated. The product developers argue that finding a way for people to experience VR gaming while seated will make the medium more accessible to people.

Most people sit down to watch movies, work, play games and browse the internet whilst seated and we see no reason why the exciting new medium of VR will be any different,” said Myers.

The chair also provides haptic/vibration feedback as a way to enhance the virtual gaming experience. It can be connected to various input devices such as keyboards, joysticks, racing wheels, and other gaming accessories.

Roto VR is compatible with most VR head mounted displays and can be used for both movies and games. In addition to marketing to consumers and offices, Roto VR is setting their sights on the B2B market by reaching out to movie theaters and arcades. This product could be just the push that the VR industry needs.

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Tech Gadgets

New device stops your smart speaker from listening without a safe word

(TECH GADGETS) Don’t like your smart devices spying on you? There might just be a solution. Paranoid is a device that stands between you and companies listening to you.

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Paranoid smart speaker

Okay, I’m the first to admit I do not trust smart home devices. Between the threat of corporations, hackers and the government all potentially tapping into private information, there’s a lot to be worried about. There’s something disquieting about random Amazon employees listening to my conversations, y’know?

That said…I still sometimes wish for voice activated devices. What can I say, they’re convenient. It would be nice to command my speaker to change the song when my hands are covered in flour or something.

Turns out, I’m not the only one who wishes for a smart speaker that wasn’t always listening in.

Paranoid, which hails from major security company Pleasant Solutions, will serve as a way for you to have your cake and eat it too. Or, in this case, have your smart device and cut down on its ability to spy.

How does it work? Essentially, Paranoid keeps a device from listening in until you say the safe word – “paranoid” – in which case it allows your smart device to listen to your command. For most devices, Paranoid will provide you with a device that easily attaches to your speaker and either jams the speaker or engages the mute button until you want to use the device. More complicated devices can be sent to Paranoid for internal alterations that will provide something similar.

For the moment, Paranoid only services specific models of Amazon and Google speakers, though they hope to expand to tackle any smart speaker on the market.

Of course, if you’re as wary as me, you’re probably aware that this just means Paranoid will be spying on you instead. (My first thought was seriously “out of the frying pan into the fire” when I learned about Paranoid’s technology.) I was relieved to learn, though, that unlike the smart devices, Paranoid doesn’t connect to the cloud. It doesn’t even connect to the internet, which means you don’t have to worry about anyone hacking into the system.

The initial devices will cost $49 USD each. Sure, this could double the price of a cheap smart home speaker, but when the alternative is potentially allowing almost anyone to listen in to your private conversations? I’d say it’s worth it.

This article was first published on February 05, 2020.

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