Is There A Major Real Estate Disruption On Its Way?

Axiom reports that Gautam Gupta, Uber's outgoing finance chief, is headed to home-buying startup Opendoor as its chief operating officer, the company tells Axios. Gupta has spent four years at Uber, becoming its highest ranking finance executive after CFO Brent Callinicos left in 2015. He will formally leave the ride-hail giant next month.

From cars to real estate

Gupta's jump to Opendoor is the byproduct of his longtime friendship with CEO Eric Wu and great timing, according to Wu. Gupta will be Opendoor's first COO as the startup plans its next phase of growth, which will include building out an expansion playbook. By the end of the year, it hopes to be in eight to 10 markets, up from the three it currently operates in.

 

Along with Gupta, Opendoor is also bringing on two longtime Amazon executives: Jason Child who will be the startup's CFO, and Bali Raghavan as VP of engineering. Both spent 12 years at the online retail giant.

Background

Opendoor was founded in 2014 to streamline residential real estate transactions. Thanks to credit lines from undisclosed financial institutions, it purchases homes directly and then sells them - making money via fees, just like traditional real estate brokers. It has raised $320 million from firms like Khosla Ventures (where Opendoor co-founder Keith Rabois is a partner), Norwest Venture Partners, NEA and GGV Capital.

Source: Axios

What’s next?

Anthony Collins, CEO of Cruiser Interactive, highlights that the move "points to a shift in the way that people will view, negotiate and make decisions about their real estate options, focused more on an in-home or mobile experience rather than traditional display suites. This will no doubt disrupt conventional thinking about the role of technology in real estate offices and display suites, forcing a more digital approach that personalises the experience and gives more control to the buyer.”

Cruiser partners with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services to transform information sharing

When bushfires are threatening to get out of control and are threatening lives and property, every second counts.

It’s crucial to have an overview of the situation to make the right decisions quickly. To be able to do this, command centres face two main challenges: 

Firstly, not getting lost in the huge amount of information reaching the center from multiple sources. Secondly, being able to convey decisions in a timely and consistent manner to both local and remote teams. Cruiser Interactive addressed those problems and revolutionised information sharing for QFES.

Cruiser software was installed in the State Disaster Coordination Centre and has provided a large visual workspace on a Touch Table. One where multiple collaborators can work on documents and web sites at the same time. Collaboration is now more effective as it provides an easier and faster means to share information between decision makers in multiple locations. Information captured in the field can now be easily accessed via the Touch Table in the coordination centre. 

Similarly, decisions and briefings are remotely conveyed to people by just flicking content to their device for review, allowing multiple users to easily collaborate whether they are in the room or not. Annotating the documents prior to sharing is simply done on the table and is a key part of the sharing process, highlighting what different teams need to look at, or just adding more up to date information.

As a command and control tool, emergency situations and the collected information is now quickly transferred to remote locations for crews to act on, or can be displayed on any screen in the command centre.

Another advantage for QFES is that the software can be customised to suit particular workflows and visual requirements – opening many possibilities further down the track for feeding in data from other sources. 

The Cruiser Table is now an integral part of the QFES State Disaster Coordination Centre.

What a video of the SDCC operations below:

Coordinating Emergency Response using Cruiser

In an unfolding emergency, the need for fast and fluid access to information, as well as instantaneous dissemination of decisions with that information, is key to successful response and situational awareness. Every second counts when reviewing key information and communicating decisions consistently to local and remote teams. 

Queensland Government Air (QG Air) recently launched a new Operations Centre. In doing so, they embarked on a process to look at emerging technologies and the role these will play in their operations.

Peter Heath, former Director of Network Management and Aviation Tasking at QG Air, highlights that “one of the major challenges we deal with is getting both timely and accurate information to the operating crew. In the old days we would operate on a fax system, or we would use telephone calls to do a search and rescue briefing, taking half an hour and involving only one person on the phone.”

With the continuing importance of reviewing information from a range of sources, including social media and live video feeds for situational awareness, large interactive screens have the potential to provide an engaging and immersive environment for reviewing this content in a highly interactive manner. Video conferencing has also become a simple and reliable means for communicating with remote bases. This prompted QG Air to look at touch screen collaboration software as a way to speed up the coordination of information across their remote bases.

The resulting operations centre is a showcase for how the latest collaboration technologies can be used for emergency response. The centrepiece of the room is a large, high-resolution interactive touch table, running the Cruiser software, networked to the other QG Air bases as well as a series of wall-mounted displays showing ambient information relevant to the operations centre. 

“The combination of the Cruiser technology and video conferencing allows us to talk to the remote crews and while giving detailed information on the brief, annotating on maps and other important pieces of information.  It provides a more focused brief, in the fastest possible time,” says Mr Heath.

With the flick of a finger, Cruiser enables QG Air staff to move information from personal devices such as tablets and phones to the touch table, surrounding touch whiteboards and a video wall, so that detailed tasking information is provided to helicopter crews more efficiently and the monitoring of crews is improved.  

Dr Anthony Collins, Chief Executive of Cruiser Interactive, says “the QG Air operations centre is a perfect match for the Cruiser technology to speed up the briefing process with remote aircrews. One of the main benefits of the software is that it can be tailored to particular workflows and visualisation requirements – opening many possibilities further down the track for feeding in data from other sources.”

“It’s about improving the integration between what’s happening on the aircraft that’s doing the task, and what’s happening back in the operations centre,” says Mr Heath. “Our next step will involve live video feeds back from the aircraft while in-flight. We already have satellite tracking which is used through the Cruiser table and the video wall. Once we get the live feed back from the aircraft when the crew are able to do it, that will give us a much better idea of what’s going on – particularly for a search and rescue operation.”

A demonstration of how QG Air are using the Cruiser technology will be presented at The Australian & New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference, held at Jupiters Gold Coast on the 4th-5th May 2015 - visit anzdmc.com.au for registration.

Rescue helicopters go high-tech thanks to partnership

Queensland families will be safer in emergencies and rescue helicopters will respond quicker, following a partnership with Rio Tinto that includes a new operations centre with state-of-the-art interactive technology.

The Queensland Government Air Operations Centre and new ‘Cruiser Interactive’ technology were unveiled by Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services Jack Dempsey and Rio Tinto Coal Australia’s Managing Director Chris Salisbury.

“Every second counts in an emergency and any improvements to response times and the quality of information provided to crews is important,” Mr Dempsey said.

“It’s all about keeping Queensland families safe and this partnership means our rescue helicopters will now have nation-leading technology. 

“Cruiser will see the hub in Kedron connected to our five Queensland Government Air bases across the state through interactive state-of-the-art screens. 

“With the flick of their hand, users can move information from personal devices such as tablets and phones to surrounding walls, whiteboards and devices so that detailed tasking information is provided to helicopter crews more efficiently and the monitoring of crews is improved.  

“There is also the capability to integrate the rescue helicopters into our much larger aviation fleet across Queensland, especially during disaster events.

“We have worked hard to give our emergency services the help they need to make Queenslanders safer.

“We know the job isn’t done, but we have a strong plan that will see it through.”

The $1.2 million Operations Centre and new technology has been funded through Rio Tinto’s $10 million, 10 year sponsorship of the Queensland Government Air rescue helicopter service.

Rio Tinto’s Chris Salisbury said the company was proud to provide support and fund new technology that would transform the way rescue helicopters operate during disaster situations. 

“At Rio Tinto, we are always looking for ways to do things better, smarter and faster and believe continuous innovation and use of technology is key to success,” Mr Salisbury said.

“I can think of no better area to be implementing innovations than in technology for a service that is responsible for saving lives and keeping Queenslanders safe all year round.

“Safety is a core value for Rio Tinto and through this partnership we are providing an enduring safety commitment to Queensland, a place we have called home for more than 50 years.”

Queensland Government Air Executive Director Craig Phasey said apart from the technological leap that the Cruiser technology provides it was also an opportune time to improve processes.  

“We are picking up the lessons that have been learnt from the disasters over the last three years where we have experienced command and coordination challenges in tasking helicopters, particular during disaster situations,” Mr Phasey said.  

“This allows us to electronically record information and provides better and more tailored information from both what the aircraft have been tasked to do and from a risk management perspective it allows additional support to the operating crew. 

“This all would not have been possible without the continuous and generous support of Rio Tinto with their $10 million commitment over 10 years to our QGAir rescue helicopters.”

Minister for Police, Fire and Emegency Service: media contacts are Andrew Kos 0408 912 821 or Callum Stewart 0403 925 703

Dawn of the 21st century meeting

Revolutionary software that has turned walls, tables, whiteboards and smart devices into touchscreen networks could see company boardrooms resembling something closer to science fiction.  

Cruiser technology, developed by Smart Services CRC, is the meeting room of the future and is rapidly evolving the way global iconic brands do business.  

Global powerhouse Mondelez International, whose portfolio includes mega-brands such as Cadbury, Kraft, Vegemite and Oreo is one of the first to adopt the technology in the pursuit of innovation. 

Mr Nicolas Georges, Director Premium Chocolate and Dairy, Research and Development, Asia Pacific Mondelez Australia said the technology had enabled his teams to realise true engagement.  

“In the past our meeting rooms would be covered with paper. Cruiser allows the group to engage with content in a richer, more organised and productive way,” he said. 

Mr Georges said the technology also allowed Mondelez to rethink the way they engage with consumers and collect valuable feedback.

“We can now bring consumers into the Cruiser facility to provide crucial product feedback. All they need to do to interact with the information is use their hands.” 

Cruiser allows users to flick information from any surface (personal smart devices, tablets, tables, walls and whiteboards) to any other surface located anywhere in the world for dynamic group discussion. Participants can annotate images and video; resize, manipulate and copy media files; contribute additional content; and share and work on information with multiple peers and colleagues anywhere in the world. 

Dr Anthony Collins, CEO of Cruiser Interactive said the technology was a powerful platform for group collaboration in any domain where visual planning and group collaboration is required, such as the advertising, marketing, property development, architecture, design, government, town planning, defence, and emergency response and education sectors. 

Professor Shankar Sankaran from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) said Cruiser was a sophisticated platform for studying groups and teams in practice. 

“Cruiser technology will enable us to effectively study teams and groups when they are engaged in activities. In our research, Cruiser will replace lots of paper and a multitude of devices,” he said. 

The technology will appear in one of its first public demonstrations at technology forum - Integrate 2014, 26-28 August Sydney Olympic Park, Stand G42.  

Cruiser Interactive launches at Connect Expo 2014

An innovative software platform from the new spin-off company of Smart Services CRC –  Cruiser Interactive Pty Ltd – that turns walls, tables, whiteboards and smart devices into touchscreen networks for group collaboration is set to debut at the Connect Expo 2014 In Melbourne this week.

Developed by Smart Services CRC from research by the University of Sydney, Cruiser is set to revolutionise group collaboration in any domain where visual planning and group collaboration is required, such as the advertising, marketing, property development, architecture, design, government, town planning, defence, and emergency response and education sectors. The platform is already revolutionising business operations for clients such as Victoria Police, Mondelez, Jumptank and Colliers International.

Cruiser adds a new dimension to collaboration, allowing users to flick information from any surface (personal smart devices, tablets, tables, walls and whiteboards) to any other surface located anywhere in the world for dynamic group discussion. Participants can annotate images and video; resize, manipulate and copy media files; contribute additional content; and share and work on information with multiple peers and colleagues anywhere in the world.  

Dr Anthony Collins, CEO of Cruiser Interactive, said “Cruiser provides users with the ability to engage customers in new ways, transforming the way they do business, and giving them the ability to collaborate digitally with teams.”

“This multi-user software allows the integration of any interactive touch screen device to provide seamless content sharing and collaboration by colleagues in the same room or across the world. It will open doors to business and create a deeper understanding of a product or system that’s being discussed or sold to a prospective buyer,” he said.

 “The technology is also ideal for group collaboration, design and brainstorming.  For those working in marketing or advertising, who brainstorm on a regular basis, Cruiser is a great way to share thoughts and visuals with each other or their clients.” 

See how Jumptank are using the technology below:

Making facilities management more efficient

Patrick Higgins, Manager, Property Management Group at Victoria Police said the software was the most advanced touch interface he had come across.

“We‘ve actually established a Cruiser facility at Victoria Police where staff can come together and collaborate on different aspects of building maintenance and property management as a team,” he said. 

“We have 800 properties to manage, so this is an amazing tool for us. The Executive Director also sees some important opportunities to use the facility for operational policing to monitor what’s happening in the field and manage and run these operations.”

Watch an interview with Patrick Higgins below:

The future of residential project marketing

Mark McKenzie from Colliers International said the Cruiser technology delivered new opportunities for innovation in group presentations.

“In the residential property industry, we work with clients from around the world, so using such a visual and interactive format helps us to overcome potential language barriers and communicate successfully. And of course, young people who are familiar with touch screen technology love it.” 

Watch an interview with Mark McKenzie below:

The Cruiser software is the key to connecting all the hardware which can be purchased through Cruiser Interactive including TableTop, an interactive touch surface that engage collaborators; TouchWall, which turns interactive walls and whiteboards into knowledge-sharing surfaces; and MediaWall, where users interact with information using a series of intuitive gestures. 

Journalists can see Cruiser in action at the Connect Expo 2014 on 13-14 March at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Entry Door 7, Booth 69.