REA Group brings VR property tours to Android

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REA Group brings VR property tours to Android

Tour houses from your couch with VR goggles.

Australian real estate giant REA Group will soon launch a mobile application for Android devices that allows property hunters to tour potential homes using virtual reality.

The 'realestate VR' app - which will arrive on the Android platform "in the coming months" - will initially only be available for properties whose sellers and agents have opted to image them in 3D and include it as part of their sales package.

The app uses Matterport's platform of 3D tours, integrated into a custom Android application.

REA said it had opted to make the app available on Android devices first to target Samsung Galaxy Gear VR and Google Daydream View owners.

The firm said it would consider bringing the app to Apple devices down the line when iOS VR offerings become available.

REA Group has jumped aboard virtual and augmented reality technology with vigour.

It partnered with Ray White in an augmented reality trial in February this year, publishing 3D listings in one of parent News Corp's print publications. The listings could be accessed via a mobile app that scanned the image to present the 3D property information.

The real estate giant is also currently preparing to launch a mobile application dubbed 'digital neighbourhood' that will bring augmented reality to the real estate signage out the front of sale properties.

That platform is built on technology from augmented reality start-up Plattar, which offers a template-driven app builder and content management system. News Corp contributed to the start-up's recent $1.1 million seed round.

"Our trials in augmented reality were really well received by both our customers and consumers so we see virtual reality as a logical next step in the experience," REA CIO Nigel Dalton said in a statement.

"As technology continues to evolve, we know that consumers are wanting to try new and innovative products that push the boundaries. While virtual reality is not a new innovation and we’ve been trialling and testing its functionality for some time now, we’re excited to be soon offering a scalable product for Australians to explore."

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