But CBRE Americas head of occupier research Julie Whelan tells Bisnow industrial markets and data centers both have much to gain from augmented and mixed reality in the future.
Take a look at the four ways this particular form of technology will continue to influence commercial real estate.
1. More Storage, Connectivity For Data Centers
The data center sector is growing fast, and new technologies on the horizon will propel the industry even higher. As companies’ use of mixed reality grows, data centers will continue to see a boom in business—especially since the 360-degree digital environment requires a lot of data and storage. Julie says the centers will benefit from the additional infrastructure, connectivity and storage capacity mixed reality will likely soon require—though the cost and limited availability of such technology has made users slow to adopt.
2. Increased Efficiency In The Supply Chain
Industrial, one of the strongest segments of commercial real estate this year, will also reap the benefits of mixed-use technology. One of the most evident benefits is the increased efficiency and speed augmented reality tech brings to warehouse workers workers overseeing mass inventory. The use of this tech can automatically display orders and data in real time for workers, improving efficiency and reducing error rates. Take shipment tracking company DHL and Ricoh, a printing solutions provider, for example. The two recently launched a pilot program using smart glasses and augmented reality at a warehouse in the Netherlands, and boasts that the software made the process 25% more efficient.
“This technology coupled with expectations for immediate delivery of e-commerce, will help propel this property sector forward.”
3. Time, Money Saver For Office And Residential Properties
The ability to visualize commercial and residential properties before they are complete is already benefiting office markets. With headsets strapped to their faces, buyers can tour potential homes and walk around the building before construction even breaks ground.
“Within office there are a lot of different uses. It takes time and coordination for people to visit multiple properties. You have to get everyone scheduled to see the space, and spend a few days hitting the road and seeing the properties. But now with AR you’re saving time, energy and effort,” Julie said. “It conveys to the end user and the potential consumer of the property exactly what it’s going to look like before its actually built in a way that a rendering cannot.”
4. Boost In Retail Traffic, In-Store Sales
Ten years ago the traditional mall could thrive on a few department store anchors and a couple of dozen boutiques, but today shoppers require more of an experience, an incentive to get them off the couch and into physical stores. The retailer’s goal is to get consumers to make purchases in physical stores as opposed to online. Augmented reality will increasingly be used to achieve that. In the past, retailers have used augmented reality to boost sales. Furniture stores have created apps that allow patrons to see what potential furniture or decor would look like in their homes, and apparel retailers have allowed customers to see what clothes will look like on them. As Pokémon Go inspires the creation of a new wave of tech, the retail sector is sure to benefit.
“In essence this is not about Pokémon Go,” Julie says. “Pokémon just introduced us to the uses this tech could have when you just open your to mind.”