Elara Technologies, which owns and operates online real estate websites PropTiger, Housing and Makaan, has filed an international patent for technological advancements in 3D augmented and virtual reality. Elara Technologies has built a significant clout for augmented reality through acquisitions. It had acquired 3DPhy, a 3D visualization startup in 2016 and Out of Box Interactions (OoBI), a user interface design firm.
Meanwhile, Housing had developed a platform called Slice View which offered an interactive exploration of the project, along with integrated booking options. The platform displayed 3D model of the building along with a list of its floors and let users view a detailed 3D flat view, complete with flat furnishings. At the time, three Tata Housing projects in Chennai and Bangalore had sported the option to ‘explore slice view.
That said, rival Magicbricks launched an experience centre in Mumbai to give visitors a VR tour of homes. This currently on the Western Express Highway’s metro station. In July 2014, real estate portal IndiaProperty.com had launched a 3D Virtual Property Tour feature.
The current demo link Elara Technologies provided seems to be an iteration of Housing’s Slice View. Users will be given an overview and then 3D view. Users will then be given an option to explore them in detail.
The technology comprises two features: One for data compression and progressive loading to provide a streamlined way to view homes on any device be it mobile, tablets or laptops. While the second feature allows users to view properties in 3D and VR spaces faster in places of slow internet connection. Elara Technologies adds that its algorithms can extract 3D related information from 2D images and that its in-house image processing engine uses these to finally render 3D visualizations for end-users. The compressed models can be deployed on the cloud for consumption over the Internet and are also ready for VR devices.
It is important to note that as of now very few VR devices are being sold in India. Among big names include Google Daydream VR headset and Xiaomi’s VR headset. However, the VR ecosystem will grow only if more companies like Elara innovate on the product end. Such innovations do not necessarily need to be in construction and rentals, some startups in India are also building their own proprietary VR products and services.