Emerging Technology

Identifying and researching emerging tech with the potential to enrich or disrupt the real estate industry.

Does iOS 16 Improve the Life of a Real Estate Professional ?

What will the next version of iOS mean for REALTORS®?

Apple has announced that they plan to release their new iOS 16 update in late 2022. Of the coming updates, we have taken a sneak peek at a few features that may improve, directly or indirectly, the daily life of a REALTOR®.

iOS 16 includes a new software framework dubbed RoomPlan as an enhancement to their augmented reality technology. RoomPlan utilizes the camera and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scanner—a new type of sensor that uses lasers to judge distance and depth—to quickly create a 3D floor plan of a space.

Developers who are creating multipurpose real estate-related applications can implement this technology to help with tasks such as remodeling, interior design changes, virtual house tours, etc. For example, are you trying to give a house tour, but the staging just isn't right? This is an example of an application using RoomPlan in cohesion with augmented reality technology to remove clutter and give a clear depiction of the room in real-time.

Is augmented reality technology still unclear? Check out NAR's Emerging Technology blog post, "How are Virtual Technologies Shaping Real Estate?".

RoomPlan does not (necessarily) have a major direct impact on REALTORS® today, but it has deep implications on apps assisting REALTORS®. Such as...

  • Virtual or augmented reality house tours can save time and money, optimizing costs.
  • Unfinished rooms can become fully furnished without the hassle of actual physical labor.
  • As processes become more digitized, user behavior analytics are more accessible and REALTORS® can have a better understanding of customer interests. You can calculate what captures their attention such as key areas during house tours, presentation format filters, etc.

While it is an impressive piece of technology, there are still many kinks to be worked out.

From our testing, accuracy on certain aspects such as sloped ceilings and bay windows still need improvement. Furniture, although detected, will only be represented as a cube. At the time of writing, the application is limited to scanning small spaces. PropTech companies who are leading the digitization of properties say this is a great technological step forward, but not a complete solution yet.

"Apple RoomPlan developer kit is going to be a great tool for AR (augmented reality) use cases in interior design and virtual staging," says Jeff Allen, president of industry-leading floor plan software CubiCasa. "But it has some definite limitations—you can only scan one small set of rooms at a time, the manual post-scan editing that is needed to get fully accurate results is not a great user experience, and it only works on a limited number of phones. But it's a great first step into what's going to be a super fun and innovative space in the years ahead—the easy digitization of properties into data."

Lock Screens and Live Activities

An iPhone running iOS 16

iOS 16 made a significant update to the Lock Screen and "focus" as well as adding a "live activities" feature, allowing all-new ways for users to personalize their device(s) to their preference. Users will now be able to create different Lock Screens with unique app widgets,1 backdrops, style, and functionality. Now you can quickly glance at data such as weather and calendar events without having to take the time to unlock and access each specific application.

Combine that with multiple Lock Screens—you can have a Lock Screen for work, sleep, personal, etc. This can enhance the work-life balance of the real estate industry by reducing distractions and pipelining data more efficiently.

However, what if there is a data set that is not supported by widgets? This is where Live Activities comes into play. Live Activities are like widgets on steroids. They allow application developers to use the provided Apple API to display dynamic and real-time information straight onto the Lock Screen. You can now track the score of your favorite team or, soon, display business-critical information like the number of offers you have received on a listing.

This. Is. It. The Only Real Estate Tech Event to Attend

Curious about iOS16 and other emerging technologies that may impact your business and daily life? Then join the National Association of REALTORS® and the floor planning experts like CubiCasa at the fourth annual 2022 Innovation, Opportunity and Investment (iOi) Summit, September 28–29 in Los Angeles. It's the event where 600 PropTech leaders and futurists, investors, and forward-thinking real estate professionals come together to fuel the future of the industry through discussion and application.

Register Now

1 Small app instances that update in the background and keep information up-to-date and accessible directly from your home screen.


Real Estate Technology

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