A few week ago Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang) tweeted a photo from inside the Hyatt Hotel in Santa Clara, CA. The photo, as you can see below shows how the hotel manager rolls around the hotel while remaining stationary.
As you can see, this rolling stand with an iPad mounted on top allows the hotel manager to tour the hotel without leaving his office (or wherever else he may be). The fact that the manager’s face is on the iPad makes sure this doesn’t feel like a Star Wars recon droid, and the onboard camera and mic actually allow him to have a conversation with the “real life” people he encounters.
So, as expected, I saw this and immediately thought about what a great tool this could be for a model home. Imagine having one or two these on each floor of your model home (versions that climbs steps would be great). Your prospects visit your website and then provide a valid email address to take a “live walkthrough” of the model. Your prospects actually pilot the iPads through the model, looking at the rooms or their choice. Salespeople are in the model, as usual, and available to demonstrate the model to the propsects on the other side of the iPad camera.
Boom. Virtual model demonstration.
Please. Someone make this happen. Now.
UPDATE 2/27/13: I spoke to Jay from Double Robotics, the maker of the robot in the photo. These units are still in prototype phase, with pre-orders shipping beginning in March 2013. The pre-order price is $1,999; $2499 later. He also told me that Double was recently invited to the Inman Connect conference in July, so apparently I wasn’t the only one who saw real estate application for their invention.
UPDATE 2/28/13: Jay from Double Robotics kindly left a comment below and pointed out that I incorrectly referred to the Double as a “prototype.” Plus… 900 pre-orders. Very impressive.