Groovy real estate apps use image recognition, augmented reality

In the Bay Area’s competitive real estate market, technology keeps making inroads. Agents use FaceTime to show houses to overseas buyers. They hire drone photographers to capture cool aerial video of the cliff-side mansion that’s about to hit the MLS.

Now realtor.com has a new app to help potential buyers and renters with their property searches.

Called Sign Snap, it uses image recognition technologies, along with a smartphone’s camera and GPS capabilities.

It works like this.

You’re out on the street. You snap a photo of a “for sale” or “for rent” sign. The app will search realtor.com’s data base — millions of listings — and find the property. It will then present you with a stockpile of information about said property: photos, price data, open house dates, etc. You can share the information with family and friends via email, texting and other social media.

Right now, the app is available only for Android, though an iOS release is planned.

Later this spring, realtor.com is scheduled to launch another app, known as Street Peek.

Realtor.com describes it like this: “Simply frame a home or group of homes with the smartphone’s camera and experience a real world view of the environment with information overlays from the realtor.com database. Information such as the listing or rental price, the recently sold price, estimated value and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms will be available on the framed properties.”

It will also include this nifty feature: “Users can tilt the screen to view a map of the neighborhood and access additional perspective on what’s nearby, or tap the displayed info card to obtain more details.”

Again, the app will launch first in Android format.

“We are continuing to optimize our mobile experience with first-to-market features that support consumers throughout the home buying process, making it as simple and stress-free as possible,” said Nate Johnson, chief marketing officer for realtor.com. “In a market where actionable information can make all the difference between landing a dream home or losing it, we are empowering consumers with an app that provides quick, accessible property information in the palm of their hands.”

Photo: “Sign Snap” app and home. (Courtesy of realtor.com)

 

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