The Viennese start-up Vloor has developed a solution with which images and scans of floor plans can be digitized automatically.
Originally, Felix Haberl and his co-founders, Thomas Lechinger and Peter Penzenstadler, wanted to start a property search that would find property offers near so-called “points of interests”. However, through discussions with brokers, they became aware of another problem: creating and digitizing floor plans and sales plans for existing properties. These are often of poor quality and the subsequent digitization is still largely done manually. “We saw opportunities to automate the process,” says Haberl.
Their start-up, initially called floorible and later renamed Vloor, developed a solution that automatically recognizes images or scans of floor plans and converts them into a digital model. Machine learning is used here . “Algorithms recognize and extract architectural elements, with text recognition (note: OCR, optical character recognition) size information and room designations are read out,” explains Haberl. On this basis, rooms are also automatically furnished and renderings created.
The goal of the start-up is to be able to automate 98 percent of the manual activities when digitizing floor plans in this way. The rest should be post-processed manually. The start-ups have problems with special floor plans in old Viennese buildings. Rather rare architectural elements such as bay windows are gradually being added.
3D tours and virtual reality environments
In addition to 2D floor plans , the start-up also offers 3D floor plans . We are also working on an interactive editor, 3D tours and virtual reality tours . Haberl sees applications for this primarily in new buildings. “Often you can't see them on site. We can use the floor plan data to create the VR environment,” says Haberl. Surveys have shown that 80 percent of those interested in real estate would like to use such tools before actually viewing them.
On the market since March
In 2019, the start-up went through incubation programs of the Vienna University of Technology and the development bank austriawirtschaftsservice (aws). This March the market launch took place with a web application.
Vloor's first customers include real estate brokers, agencies and property developers, mainly in Vienna. You upload pictures or scans of floor plans, which are then analyzed by Vloor. The generated data is then converted into visualizations and made available to customers for download. The digitized plans and visualizations are then used in real estate advertisements and sales documents.
Vloor founders: Felix Haberl, Thomas Lechinger and Peter Penzenstadler
The floor plans and visualizations are currently offered by Vloor in different packages ( 2D, 3D, VR ) at prices between 10 and 60 euros . A subscription model is also being considered, which is intended primarily to appeal to larger real estate agencies. Individual branding of the plans is also possible.
Expansion to Germany
The start-up is currently financed through the aws preseed program. A subsequent round of financing should provide fresh money. The money will go into product development and further expansion. The start-up plans to offer its solution on the German market in the coming year.
This article was created as part of a cooperation between futurezone and Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws).