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Altered-reality technology and commercial real estate

8/6/2016 | Real Estate Blog

Commercial real estate investors and developers in Pennsylvania may already be aware of the ways in which augmented reality technology is expected to impact the industry. The technology is already growing by leaps and bounds, thanks in part to the game Pokémon Go, which utilizes augmented reality technology to create the game in the real world around the player, via the camera of his or her mobile device. The game has seen rapid success. Nintendo, which owns the rights to Pokémon, has increased its market cap by $20 billion since the game was released July 6.

The altered-reality market, made up of augmented reality and more-fully-immersive virtual reality, is expected to be worth $80 billion by 2025. With regard to commercial real estate specifically, the potential of augmented reality technology is most obvious in the retail sector, where it may soon evolve to merge online and real-world shopping experiences. The head of occupier research at commercial real estate services firm CBRE said it could continue the lifespan of brick-and-mortar retail.

It is not just the retail sector, though, that could benefit from the developing technologies. Commercial real estate sales teams, marketers and property managers will soon use altered-reality technology to demonstrate the features of a building or to provide tours. Architects and designers will be able to show their ideas to investors sand consumers in ways that were not possible before.

The technology also requires stronger servers and computing power than has been needed before, so the data center sector is also expected to grow. Industrial real estate operators are already using the technology to make supply chains more efficient. As Pokémon Go and other programs develop new uses for altered-reality technology, the commercial real estate industry should continue to benefit. An attorney with experience in commercial real estate law may be able to help investors and other interested parties navigate the legal and regulatory environment as it develops.