To say that PokemonGo this month launched to much hype, would be the understatement of 2016. Like never before has any new technology experience received so much interest and fanfare.
For those not acquainted with the PokemonGo movement, PokemonGo is a remake of a 1990’s video game from the Pokemon Company (a Japanese consortium between Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures) and subsequent Pokemon animated TV series. Pokemon Go employs AR technology (Augmented Reality), which is a view of the physical world, overlayed with augmented objects (virtual world) in real time. Interestingly, Pokemon Go is not a product of the Pokemon Company, instead is the brainchild of Niantic, Inc., a San Franciscan based software company. Of which the investment community discovered, resulting in a substantial drop in Nintendo stock (see CNN report).
It is projected that by 2025, AR will be worth a staggering $80 billion USD, with real estate taking $2.6 B worth of the pie. And so what are the implications for real estate? How will Virtual & Augmented technologies change the real estate industry? Will they at all?
When considering Augmented Reality and real estate, the most significant item that comes to mind is public spaces. You only need look at the disruptions PokemonGo is creating. In an ideal world, it could be argued that the PokemonGo hysteria is a one-off trend and the world will not see again. Yet the reality is, we are only at the tip of the iceberg and how this tech will change our lives now on, forever. Augmented Reality will most certainly provide new uses of real estate, such as new ways of advertising and community gathering spaces.
CBRE released, as part of its July report, a look into VR & AR and its projected impact on real estate. In the report, CBRE stated that they “believe the new technology will have significant applicability to commercial real estate, both immediately and over the long-term, including that:
Consumers of commercial and residential property will soon benefit from emerging capabilities to visualize real estate virtually via mixed-reality offerings in tandem with parallel advances in personal media devices and underlying graphics technology.
The industrial market will have access to technology that will impact multiple elements of the supply chain. DHL and Ricoh recently carried out a successful augmented-reality pilot in a warehouse in the Netherlands that proved successful in enhancing time efficiency and error reduction.
The retail sector, already seeing an increase in foot traffic around Poké “stops” and “gyms,” is on the cutting edge of using augmented reality to engage its customer base, both online and in-store, so that customers are more informed about the products they buy.
Data centres, already a booming asset class, will benefit from the need for additional infrastructure, connectivity and storage capacity demanded by this evolution.”
You can read the full report on the CBRE website.