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Tagwhat augmented reality app may offer a real estate channel, get there first

Tagwhat circa 2010

We introduced you to the Tagwhat augmented reality (AR) app in early 2010 and have watched it turn into a completely robust system with new features that we feel strongly have major real estate implications.

The app originally allowed users to hold up their phone to write and see other users’ notes above buildings, landmarks, parks, theaters and the like. Tagwhat founder Dave Elchoness told AGBeat that real estate professionals took to the app immediately and understood the value of a consumer home shopping and holding up their phone in a neighborhood to see information pop up above a house with the listing agent’s contact information.

Tagwhat today is multi-media storytelling

The only problem is that with the first iteration, a large portion of users left updates above locations that were relatively meaningless. Tagwhat studied their network and realized that they were sitting on a gold mine that wasn’t reaching its potential, despite being one of the first to the augmented reality field.

Now, “Tagwhat tells great stories about the places around you. All you have to do is look through your mobile like a window. With Tagwhat, stories pop up as “tags” right on top of their actual locations in real life. Turn around and watch as stories update based on where you’re looking! With a range of channels from movies to sports, music to history, Tagwhat is a world of originally produced and curated videos, photos, and audio to enjoy against the backdrop of your real life. Remember your experiences by collecting digital postcards that you can personalize and save in Tagwhat or share with friends.”

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Here is a sample of what a Tagwhat multi-media story looks like on an iPhone:

Could a real estate channel be coming?

The company is curating original content and seeking out quality content to add and will be opening their publishing platform soon with rumors that there could be a real estate channel, so people seeking information on housing can find it, and those who are not are not annoyed by it.

Tagwhat content is completely shareable, but instead of just sharing a link on a user’s Facebook page, a “Tagwhat postcard” is created and made ready for sharing on most social networks. The package is much more creative and compelling than the standard “look what I found” link sharing of yesterday.

Tagwhat works with the iPhone 3G2, iPhone 4G, all Android devices and consistently receives high ratings across the platforms. Tagwhat has also updated their format so that it is compass driven visual orientation, offering a grid format as an effort to be more responsible and transparent, meaning that Tagwhat acknowledges that GPS technology is not 100% reliable and that devices are not advanced enough to keep a stable AR image on the screen. This approach is pretty unique in the AR field.

How you can use Tagwhat for real estate

If Tagwhat establishes a real estate channel and allows Realtors to submit content for consideration of inclusion, the implications are huge for Realtors.

If an early adopter Realtor creates a quality video tour of a subdivision, interviews neighbors, collects pictures of the ground breaking all the way to the completed subdivision, and writes up a short history of the subdivision, then submits it to Tagwhat for inclusion and sends business cards to all the doors encouraging them to check out the augmented reality version of their neighbhorhood, guess who the expert is?

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The history of a company can be told in video or pictures and turned into a multi-media story for Tagwhat and included as a visual map marker for a real estate office. Realtors that have real expertise in an area can act not only as an impromptu historian, but can share housing statistics over the years (“did you know that from 2000 to 2010, values in X area increased 12%?” “the first house built in X area recently sold for 700% of its original 1932 sales price of $23,000”). Brilliant.

Elchoness told us they will soon be opening the platform to beta publishers, so if you want to be that Realtor who gets to the finish line first, email dave(at)

We have long advocated for augmented reality, especially over other technologies, and we believe it to have the best chances of success in the long run.

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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.



  1. Dave Elchoness

    August 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks so much for such a thoughtful article on Tagwhat. The response has been great and we're looking forward to opening the publishing interface to your readers very soon. Please stay tuned!

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