iStaging, a Taiwanese company that uses virtual and augmented reality to give people immersive virtual tours of real estate, has seen its revenues leap three-fold in the first half of this year

The company’s founder and chief executive officer Johnny Lee said the momentum was continuing in the second half of this year and he expects to report more earnings in the third quarter

“We could grow up to five times more than last year,” Lee said.

iStaging’s surge in revenues is due to technological advances that make it easier and cheaper to use its products.

The eight-year-old company offers virtual reality and augmented reality software solutions and its growth is contingent on widespread adoption of quality headsets.

Thanks to these new technological developments, there are now a growing number of high-resolution stand-alone virtual reality headsets on the market that don’t require pairing with a phone or computer.

Also, compared with the virtual reality headsets of the past that required a robust computer to function and cost more than US$3,245 (NT$100,000), today an Oculus Go can go for as little as US$209 (NT$6,500.)

Such a dramatic fall in prices means many more people, and not just early adopters, are willing to try out the company’s products.

But it is not just headsets. iStaging has also created VR Maker, software that allows users to create 360 degree virtual tours simply with a fisheye lens ( a very wide-angled lens), a rotator and their smartphone.

The experience can be customized by adding notes, hotspots, tags and more, enabling users to peruse information typically found in real estate catalogues while enjoying their virtual walkthrough of a house or other kind of building.

Real deep in real estate

iStaging started out offering augmented and virtual reality solutions for the home buyers, such as taking customers on a virtual tour of a new property or planning a floor layout with an augmented furniture visualization tool.

This is where iStaging derives its Chinese name Zhai zhuang or “home adorner” from. It is the name the business is best known by in Taiwan. With renowned clients like Yung Ching Rehouse Company, they are already cementing their place in the sector.

iStaging’s strategy is to win over the giants of the housing market, Lee said.

He added the solutions they offer are popular among Taiwan’s biggest realtors because the adoption of new technology enhances their image. Lee added that they also have the funds to invest in new equipment.

On top of this, Lee said, through their close collaboration with housing’s big players, iStaging can gain a better understanding of how to best position themselves to take advantage of the industry’s future trends.

Yet, confining itself purely to the real estate sector could limit the company’s potential growth and real estate is not the only industry iStaging has set its sights on.

In future it will not develop hardware or create content, Lee said, and instead develop platforms using technologies that can be used by other industries across the world.

〔Original :meet@Tw〕