Commonwealth Bank launches Property Guide iPhone app

Augmented reality makes Property Guide app an 'industry first'

The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) released a new iPhone app yesterday that it says will revolutionise the property market in Australia and change how home buyers will search for a property.

The free Property Guide iPhone app utilises 'augmented reality' technology, allowing users to point their iPhones at residential properties and be fed information such as past sale prices, whether the property is for sale, and current property listings. The results are then be mapped overlaid on the iPhone's screen.

Data is relayed from realestate.com.au and rpdata.com and the CBA indicates that 95 per cent of Australia's residential homes are covered by the app, which took five months to develop.

CBA public relations advisor, Sarah Gibbons, says that there were no concerns with privacy when building and releasing the app, simply because the information distributed by the app is publicly available and is not personally identifiable. "There are no privacy concerns regarding data provided through the iPhone application as it utilises the same data that has been available to professional and consumer subscribers for over a decade through RP Data and other sources," she said.

Features of the iPhone app include price evaluation of a home (including number of bedrooms and bathrooms), Australia-wide property search, detailed information and the ability to contact sales agents and home lenders directly.

An iPhone or second-gen iPod Touch with version 3.1.0 or greater of iOS is required to run the app, while an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 is required to use the augmented reality feature. iPad users can also use the app but it is not designed for the device's larger screen and the augmented reality feature is not available due to the lack of a built-in camera.

Gibbons says that the response has been very strong from consumers, with the Property Guide app as the number one lifestyle app at time of publication and third on the list of popular free apps.

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