How could virtual and augmented reality work in real estate business?

In customized student projects students learn by doing real projects for companies.
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Students Elyas Saif (Real Estate Economics, School of Science) and Leo Josephy (Collaborative and Industrial Design, School of Arts, Design and Architecture) explored new use for augmented and virtual reality technologies in the real estate industry.

After conducting a thorough market analysis, they followed Nokia's customer-centric approach and conducted over 10 expert interviews involving leaders in all stages of the real estate life cycle, from architecture and construction to sales and leasing.

"AR is being explored in construction, but adoption has been slow”.

Elyas Saif secured interviews with leading Finnish construction companies such as NCC and SRV, gaining a lot of information about their processes.

"Interviews with company representatives substantially improved my ability to understand business requirements. It was really interesting to meet with new people from various industries and discuss growth technologies such as AR and VR with them", Saif says.

Based on the workflows and pain points identified through the interviews, Saif and Josephy, alongside Mahdi Sayyadi, thesis worker of Nokia, focused their efforts on exploring how augmented reality interfaces can be applied to the construction industry.

"AR is being explored in construction, but adoption has been slow. The technology is still very immature. If we can prove that projects can flow more efficiently, we believe that companies will be eager to adopt new product offerings. On a construction site, time is money", notes Leo Josephy.

Nokia was very satisfied with the outcome of the project and impressed with the rigour of the students' work. Petri Niiranen, a Business Development Executive at Nokia says: "I was very impressed with the Aalto students' professionalism and the results they were able to accomplish. They did a great job in finding a customer need and developing a solution to fill it."

“This project involved great teamwork. I am very glad that within a relatively short period of time we managed to develop a business idea and solution from scratch, and gained Nokia wide recognition for the excellent achievements of the project”, says Mahdi Sayyadi.

Jesse Karjalainen, researcher of Industrial Engineering and Management, and one of the students' supervisors, sums up the project: "I was really happy with the overall process. It was a great experience to be involved in brainstorming and analyzing new business opportunities with Nokia and such smart students."

The Nokia virtual reality project was organized by the Aalto School of Business. Supervisors came from the Industrial Engineering and Management programme and the students in the project were from the School of Engineering and from the School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

Tommi Vihervaara
Project Specialist

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