AR tech shakes up home buying game in NZ

Kiwi start-up partners with builders and developers to launch new house hunting platform

AR tech shakes up home buying game in NZ

A new platform that gives home buyers a tour of houses without the need of a show home has launched in New Zealand.

NZ start-up Reactar has introduced homeAR, an augmented reality-based mobile platform allowing buyers of brand-new homes to view available design options. The idea is that homeAR provides a prospective buyer an extensive catalogue of Design & Build and House & Land packages from leading builders and developers. It gives viewing options in 3D and table scale, and also allows users to figure out ideal placements, look at the views, understand their proximity to neighbours and consider sun angles.

According to Reactar founder Richard Penny, homeAR was designed to make it easy for people to understand a house design as if it already existed – without needing to find a show home.

“Trying to understand what a house will look like from a 2D render and a floor plan isn’t easy, and trying to imagine a design on your plot of land is nearly impossible for most of us,” Penny said. “Because augmented reality is pretty new technology, we had a bunch of challenges to solve – from optimising the complex CAD models produced by the architects to run well on phones, to designing a completely new mobile UX to allow users to interact with virtual houses.”

homeAR is launching with Bayleys NZ and Classic Builders as foundation customers, with both firms working with the start-up since its early stages.

“The support of Bayleys and Classic has given us huge confidence that our offering as an important role to play in the market,” Penny noted.

Meanwhile, Bayleys national director of marketing and communications Chris Gwin said they saw in homeAR the opportunity to offer developers, and their clients, a tool that adds huge value to both parties in the transaction.

“Longer-term, we can see applications for this technology in other segments of our market, such as commercial,” Gwin added.

homeAR launched in Apple and Android app stores in June.