An App That Tells You Which Houses Are Haunted
In Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China, if a person dies in their house, the house is then often hard to sell. This is because it is seen as having bad “Feng Shui.” But for unsuperstitious property bargain hunters, this is the ideal house to buy. And here’s how they find these “haunted” houses.
The Chinese, Taiwanese and Cantonese are still really superstitious about some things. One of them is death. It gives them the heebie jeebies. For example, the way they pronounce “four” is almost the same as the way they pronounce “death.” So you will find that a lot of high rises won’t have a fourth floor at all (in the same way that some buildings in the West used to avoid having a 13th floor). Of course there is a fourth floor, but it is called the fifth floor. Yep there’s no “four” button to press in the lift.
So in keeping with the theme of death being creepy, if there is an unusual death in an apartment or house in Greater China, many believe the ghost of the deceased still occupies the residence. As a result, it can sell or rent for a substantial discount to the market rate.
It is young professionals and foreigners who don’t believe in these superstitions who want to move into these “haunted” houses. It is a great way to live in upcoming neighbourhoods for less cost. But before now, they could never know where these bargain properties were, unless they asked around the neighbourhood. But now, there’s an app for that.
The latest version of Spacious, a real estate app, provides users with an augmented reality experience of searching for ‘ghost apartments’ in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China. The new feature, which was influenced by the successful Pokémon Go app, marks the first time augmented reality has been used in conjunction with an apartment search feature.
Spacious took this understanding of the local market and saw an opportunity to provide this data on potentially haunted locations to Spacious users. Property searchers who are less concerned about death events, can use haunting data to locate apartments that may be priced below the market value.
When a user is near a haunted location, ghosts actually appear in the interface, alongside apartment listing information. Using the app, users can now walk around town finding listings overlaid on the real world. So they can visualise their new home and see that additional level of insight into what it would be like to live there. In addition, if they are just bored, they can switch the app from property search mode to fun mode…and play a ghost-catching version, much like Pokémon Go.
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