Lifull Co. Ltd. has appointed former Hitachi executive Kazuo Yano as an executive fellow at its artificial intelligence (AI) strategy office. The company’s property vertical Lifull Home’s (at Homes.co.jp) is its core business.
Yano (LinkedIn profile) is currently a fellow at Hitachi. He served as the company’s senior chief researcher for nine years before being promoted to corporate chief scientist. Yano has also worked as a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He’s widely considered to be the AI expert in Japan.
Tokyo-based Lifull set up its AI strategy office in October with plans to use the technology aggressively in its business. Since then, the office has produced a property value assessment tool, a price map, and online tours.
Homes.co.jp has outperformed all its competitors — like Suumo.jp, AtHome, Daito Trust Construction Inc., EHeya, Yahoo Real Estate, and Chintai.net — when it comes to its use of technology in the real estate sector.
The company has also announced the launch of a new augmented reality search function for its iOS app.
Users simply need to hold their smartphone’s camera over a building and the app will give them information about nearby amenities like schools, stations, restaurants, and parks. The tool currently includes information on around 1 million rental and for sale condominiums.
The app already facilitated AR-based searches for vacant properties. It also lets users search for properties based on prices and hazards.
Lifull Home’s carries more than 6 million property ads. It’s parent Lifull Co. Ltd. also owns general classifieds aggregator Trovit and digital classifieds group Mitula — which it acquired in December 2018.