By Jason Vertrees, Chief Technology Officer at RealMassive
I just got back from Google’s flagship developer event, Google I/O. It was three days immersed in the present and near future of what’s possible in technology. Though there were many major headlining technologies like self-driving cars, Google Assistant, Project Tango, Project Ara, and deep learning, I’m going to focus this article on one technology I found to be immediately applicable to commercial real estate (CRE): the Physical Web.
The Physical Web provides a digital existence to real, tangible objects around you. It allows you to walk up to and interact with physical objects in totally new ways. Such generalizations aren’t terribly clear, so let’s consider two simple examples.
First, consider looking for office space downtown. You’re walking down 5th Avenue. You pull out your phone and see that the building in front of you is on the Physical Web. You click on the notification, like that shown in Figure 1, and are taken to the building’s web page on RealMassive, which shows the building’s availabilities in real time for free. There is one space left, and it happens to be the perfect size, with a reasonable asking rate.
Let’s look at another example. You arrive at your office before work hours, so the door is locked. You pull out your phone, knowing the security doors are on the Physical Web. You tap your phone to interact with the doors. It connects and asks you to prove who you are. You use the fingerprint scanner on the back of your phone and the doors unlock.
These are actions that the Physical Web are starting to afford us. Let’s take a quick look at how it all works, then consider a few more possibilities.