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Media focus

AR Applications
The winners will be the location-aware mobile internet access
established publishers/ devices (driven almost single-handedly
brands that can by the iphone) means service providers
support these kinds can now start making previously
of services and the complex user experiences very simple.”
agents piggy-backing There are certainly useful
on the investment by applications in the overseas home
advertising with them. market, adds Wilson. “People stumbling
Property portals around the
Rob Wilson, Rightmove Overseas across a village thinking ‘wouldn’t it
world are getting creative to
compete for market share...
be nice to live here’ would have had to
Having stepped up its mobile advertis-
expect the first pilot to be ready within make a note of the name (if they knew
ing last year after unique browsers on its
a month from now. This project has it), laboriously retrace their steps on mobile website rose 370% to 248,000 in
commercial opportunities.” Google maps when next in front of a
October 2009, Australian property portal
computer (if they remembered to), and has signed up two
advertisers after seeing “exponential”
Be realistic navigate their way through a search
growth in December. Quoting data
In the UK, where there is still intensive engine or a property search portal to
from Frost and Sullivan to highlight
competition among a variety of high find properties. With a location aware the potential, it claims the Australian
profile property portals, AR is not yet device/service, all they need to do is
mobile marketing industry should grow
viewed as ‘must have’ technology. push a button and the device knows
from AUD$7.5 million in 2009 to $150
million by 2014. UK portal Rightmove
“I would put augmented reality where they are and can circumvent
is seeing growing interest from mobile
applications into the ‘very cool’ all those steps bringing up relevant
phone listings. Revealing its iPhone
category – some incredibly clever information instantly. If it’s an ‘always app stats to OPP, it claims 323,577
people doing extremely smart things on’ app, they don’t even have to do
downloads since launch in August 09,
with technology,” admits Dan Johnson, anything; the device just pops up the
over 87,500 searches are being carried
out daily in 2010, it has delivered over
managing director of UK property fact that property is available.”
75,000 email leads since launch and
portal The Move Channel and Lead Certainly in the ‘very cool’ category
around 750 email leads delivered per
Galaxy. “However, there are two reasons but Wilson agrees that AR is more of day, according to Rob Wilson, Head of
why I doubt that mobile devices will a novelty. “The aspect of it that joins
Overseas. Other UK portals innovating
replace the PC as the main mode of use awareness of location with existing
at the moment include,
which has partnered with auctioneer
for internet and smart application use. data and services is the bit that will go
Real Estate Disposition Corporation
“Firstly, most people are relatively mainstream,” he says.
(REDC) to launch a live auctions section
sedentary – we spend a large for repossessed homes. With the first
proportion of our time sat at desks or Brave new world
auction scheduled to run from 11 Feb-
lounging in front of the TV – situations The big question is what it means
ruary to 14 February, visitors to zoopla’s BUSINESS
new auctions section will see a UK map
where the screen and keyboard size for agents – is it an opportunity or a
displaying where properties are listed
application, Wilhelm says it’s yet to see of a laptop or desktop are much more threat? “I don’t see it as any threat or
for auction. “We see live online bidding
a real impact on sales. “At this moment convenient. Secondly, while most game changer for agents or portals as as the future of property auctions and
the only platform that has impact web applications can run on Firefox, it’s simply another, more convenient
our innovative offering as one of the
on real estate sales is the iphone,” he Chrome or Internet Explorer, handheld way to access existing data,” says
most exciting developments for estate
agents in the UK for years,” said Zoopla’s
explains. “All property portals over the platforms are in a more embryonic Wilson. “The winners will be the
CEO, Alex Chesterman. Meanwhile, in
world are pushing their app in order to stage, with Blackberry, Microsoft, established publishers/brands that
the US, brokerage has
be able to see something in return from Apple, Nokia and now Google all can support these kinds of services teamed up with to provide
their investment in the app. competing for a share of the market. and the agents piggy-backing on the
local real time estimates of the closing
“In the US the major portals are There is less compatibility across investment by advertising with them. A
costs of its properties. Allowing users to
compare rates for title insurance, home
getting up to 15% of their traffic platforms, making it harder for software user won’t want to have 40 apps from
inspections, appraisals as well as notary
through mobile (iphone). AR/Layar vendors to achieve scale. different agents/developers running;
and home warranty services in their
is picked up by some portals across “So while I do see early adopters they’ll want one that covers everything area, a database of over 125,000 vendors
the globe but probably for the same increasing their take up of this kind of in a consistent way with a great user
will now be accessible to ziprealty.
reasons as funda: PR and learnings. We application, it will be a few years time experience, which brings us back full
com users. Daft Media Group, parent
company of Irish property portal daft.
have no expectations about AR. If and before they are likely to truly break into circle to portals.
ie, is expanding into the Polish online
when the big players (nokia, google, the mainstream, if they do at all.” “The challenge for portals is how to
property market, with going live
apple) are going to do something with Rob Wilson, Head of Overseas at organise and geo-locate all that data, with approximately 60,000 properties.
it, it might become big.” Rightmove, agrees that AR apps like something that’s relatively easy in the
With growing interest in German buy-
Funda is committed to finding out Layar are impressive and innovative. UK where we have a very granular
ing activity,
claims that it is used by 88% of Germans
more about the application, though, “Augmented Reality is a great buzz postcode and grid-reference system,
looking for property online. A study by
and is currently experimenting with phrase and certainly lends itself to but scaling that worldwide to cover the
German Internet research company
3D objects within Layar, according some cool apps, but it feels like the smorgasbord of address/postcode Hamburg Fittkau & Maass Consulting,
to Wilhelm. “Specifically for new froth on what is actually a really good systems (some countries don’t have an
which surveyed 21,050 people with
development where we are trying cup of coffee,” he says. “Underlying association between address and co-
Internet access who were looking to
move house over the last 12 months,
to project a 3D digital image of the AR is the unstoppable momentum to ordinate) will be tough - and that’s even
also revealed the market share of its two
building on the position where it is connect data with location and rise in before addressing the source quality of
main competitors, (58.3%
supposed to be built,” he says. “We mobile browsing. Massive growth in data provided by advertisers.” percent) and (51.5%).
FEB10_OPP_MAG.indd 65 28/01/2010 15:27
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