Porch adds augmented reality tech to home improvement marketplace with Streem partnership

Porch is using augmented reality technology to help homeowners connect with service professionals.

The Seattle-based startup is partnering with Portland-based Streem, which has developed an app that lets home service professionals quickly diagnose and quote a customer’s inquiry using augmented reality on a smartphone.

Streem lets a customer stream HD video of a given issue to a professional, who can then use a digital toolbox to take measurements and other notes. Computer vision technology can automatically detect the brand and model number of a part or appliance. Professionals can guide the conversation with a laser pointer and use arrows anchored to a 3D map of the space. The photos, videos, notes, and data stay saved on the app, which utilizes Apple’s ARKit.

Now the Streem app, previously available on an invite-only basis, will feature a Porch concierge that can collect information using Streem and then connect a homeowner with a professional in the Porch network.

Streem previously partnered with HomeAdvisor in October to help find service professionals. The company, which has raised $3.7 million, makes money by charging a monthly fee per professional that starts at $19. The service is free for consumers.

“Our goal is for the Porch assistant and pro to have as much insight as if they were in the room with the homeowner, but without all the scheduling and transit hassles,” Streem CEO Ryan Fink said in a statement. “Porch will use these insights to match customers with the right pro and ensure they have the correct crew, replacement parts and materials to do the work as efficiently as possible.”

Founded in 2013, Porch went through major layoffs in 2015 and 2016. But the company has bounced back and is growing faster than ever. It has helped facilitate more than two million projects in the last year.

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