Dive into immersive environments

One of the exercises we do at the beginning of every year at 1000WATT is sit down, peer out across the landscape and start to brainstorm about how the latest trends and developments in technology are going to impact real estate.

We do this to better advise our clients on what’s out there and to prepare ourselves to respond to those innovative clouds building on the horizon

This was the result of this year’s effort:

There’s a lot of meaty stuff on that whiteboard. Much of which we hope to feature on our blog or in our 1000WATT Spotlight email newsletter (have you signed up yet?).

One of the more exciting trends we’re keeping an eye on closely these days is immersive environments.

Consider this app:

Tour Wrist resuscitates the 360 virtual tour, a play not new to real estate but one that’s long been on life support. Rather than spinning an image around using your mouse, Tour Wrist makes use of your device’s internal compass and gyroscope. As you move your iPhone or iPad around in real space you mimic the view of the panorama on your screen.

It feels a little goofy doing it, but the effect (especially on the iPad’s larger screen) is transfixing. You really feel like you’re peering through the ether into another place.

It’s no wonder it walked off with the 2012 Best of Show award at last week’s Macworld | iWorld conference in San Francisco.

Swivel is another exciting development. The app uses Microsoft’s Kinect technology to create a virtual dressing room where you can try on virtual representations of real world goods.

The demo is pretty impressive stuff.

Clearly there are some cues here for real estate. Getting a real sense for a particular property has been always been elusive online. We’ve layered photos on maps to provide them with some degree of geographic context. Smartphone cameras and photography apps like Instagram have given us a peek into a what makes a neighborhood or property truly special. And video may finally be making a dent in Realtor marketing budgets this year.

But nevertheless, we have yet to truly get inside a home virtually. To explore it untethered.

The notion that we’ll be able to transport ourselves virtually may seem like the stuff of science fiction today. Tomorrow, I’m not so sure.

I think we’re heading in that direction.