“Mobile computer vision technology platform able to detect a position of a device relative to the world around them without using external signals or data sources. The main features are motion tracking, area learning, and depth perception.” The Wikipedia description was my first encounter with Google Tango, all sounded too complex. But, so did Google’s mission to organize the world’s information. Also, both were totally unrelated to the actual user experience, both being a solid proof of current capabilities and a high bar for future expectations. Google Tango for real estate, then, seems intuitive after the scope has been set.
The Tango app and devices are introduced many times before (Fortune, Trusted Reviews) so I won’t go into generals. Instead, let’s have a look into the future through real estate, marketing, technology, and service points of view.
Earlier we published an infographic with a summary of our views. We also have tested Tango demos and devices in our office. After both, let’s have a longer and more detailed explanation:
This context is most used on finding things, places of artifacts inside an indoor space. These could be an airport gate, a seat on a stadium or a concert hall, rooms in a hospital, book in a library, or items in a large store or shops in a mall.
These could include additional layers of information, like introductions on artifacts in a museum or special offers in a mall. Another good use would be emergency exits and routes, hoping there would be as little use and need as possible.
The navigation would also assist disabled people (e.g. wheelchair accessible routes) and visually impaired people (location-based voice assistant).
Matterport has been a Project Tango partner since the beginning. The company has a tremendous track record in bringing a 3D room scanner from early adopters to common knowledge. Their paths crossed again with the announcement of Google Street View integration to add indoor spaces into map view.
Alongside the MP cameras, the current Tango devices themselves include a laser scanner point cloud app. Lenovo Phab 2 Pro owners may not know they could be 3D photographers, but someday smartphones are powerful enough to make us all one.
Besides a virtual tour, the technology extracts a massive amount of indoor space data. The Lenovo device takes 250,000 measurements per each movement. These models can be utilized for various purposes – like schematic 2D floor plan with dimensions.
Usually the combo of Tango + indoor spaces scan = property virtual walkthrough, goggles preferred.
Augmented and virtual reality real estate
The obvious. A number of Tango articles are built around VR, AR and especially gaming. The games are being played in real world environments. In real estate, there is already a number of interiors and furniture designers taking advantage of the technology. Think about moving to a new, empty home and looking at the space through an iPad screen (iStaging, Autodesk Homestyler). With the apps available, you can “place” sofas, beds, tables, art etc. on top of the current view. The user immediately sees how the furniture would look in their actual size (remember the spaces are automatically measured?) and how wallpapers and paintings would look like.
Same vice versa: scan your home measurements before the infinite-length Ikea tour. While shopping, test the furniture in your home environment before checking out and carrying it all around.
Though Tango isn’t necessarily an outdoor app, REALTOR.com® Sign Snap™ and Street Peek™ are interesting ways to present the properties.
Future of real estate marketing and related property services
Many aspects are or will be about data. As mentioned, 250k unique measurement per movement makes Tango an effective tool for creating and capturing indoor space data. Many Tango applications are about re-creating the environment and locating itself stand-alone. Thus, real estate professionals are extremely interested in accurate home data. While consuming the property, the residents and commercial tenants would be interested in metrics like energy consumption and air quality. During homesearch, to rent or buy, the indoor space data helps create a new generation of real estate listing and website content.
As written, one day we all have 3D scanners in our pockets. 3D tours become more common and cheaper without bargaining on quality. Technology takes a bigger role in agents’ daily activities.
Property investments? There’s an app for that.
Whatever the method of capturing indoor space data, we will see greater utilization of the now-missing indoor element. After all, we spend most of our time indoors. Could there be an all-inclusive property data standard for accurate property search algorithms, valuations, and comparisons? Time will show… 🙂
Tuomas Aarni, Sales Manager