It sounds a bit extreme to explore our world in virtual reality, however it’s becoming a reality. Developers and real estate agents have already begun work on developing the next best platform for selling and displaying homes- Virtual Reality. By hiring equipment such as a Gear VR, estate agents have already capitalised on the idea of showcasing homes in virtual reality to potential customers. Virtual reality developers such as StarVR, and UI Centric allow users who already own or are in possession of a VR hired device, to view a range of stylish homes located all around the world.
How does it work?
There are two main approaches on how this works. Method one requires multiple 360-degree images taken of a property and by a series of smart perception tricks. The user can ‘move’ around the property as if they were in a 3D rendered environment, however only the 360-degree image around them changes. Method two requires a lot more work, but allows a significantly better product. Each property is 3D rendered into a 3D editing suit, and the home is made by hi-resolution models of each item in the property. Just like how a game character can move in a virtual space, the user can now traverse around the property.
StarVR – Edge28
StarVR has developed the application Edge28, which is a new piece of software developed for the Gear VR and Google Cardboard. They offer a fully immersive experience whereby the entire set is 3D rendered, and the user has free roam over the property. Edge28 allows hi-resolution images for a detailed view of the apartment but a modest 3D rendered world to explore the whole property. They are one of the leading developing teams behind real estate virtual reality development.
Key features of this application are that you can view detailed 2D images of any room in the property, while having free roam on the fully rendered 3D space. This program is still in development and hasn’t been implemented as a working suit yet for any real estate agents.
UI Centric specialise in creating user friendly specialist software. They joined up with a real estate agency in Fulham Reach to create a stunning 3D display of how virtual reality could be for selling homes. Any VR hired device can easily use this software to explore homes in Fulham Reach; some are even purchasable.
With the application, you can view a range of locations, their facilities, the floor plan and other key information about the property. It is fully functional and some the properties are already for sale.
What can this mean for you?
If you ever plan on decorating your home, or completely redesigning it from the ground up, VR has the technology to assist you without the cost of buying any equipment or doing any work. You can even hire a Gear VR to reduce costs significantly before you attempt to redesign your home. As the leading developers in home design better define their software, you can expect to easily design a home in VR that suits you completely. You wouldn’t even need to get off your sofa.
Furthermore, see what homes are near you without needing to leave your house. As more real estate agents follow the scheme of virtual reality, the higher the chances are of you purchasing your next home without needing to visit it in person beforehand.
What is the future of real estate VR?
It’s common knowledge that VR is the future, however seeing what it can mean for real estate takes some thought. Currently, selling homes through virtual reality is still in its early development. Yet, as the technology grows, it will become increasingly likely to view property through VR instead of travelling to the property locations. It will most likely start out as a ‘try before you buy’ type of viewing experience, whereby you can view the property in virtual reality before you can book an appointment with a real estate agent.
From a hardware prospective, the possibilities are endless. As VR gets increasingly more popular, there is no reason to believe that being able to feel and move around a virtual property isn’t possible. This could open limitless possibilities and experiences which could revolutionise how we buy and sell property.
All in all, it is inevitable that the real estate market is looking to monopolise VR. In a future not so long from now, you could be purchasing your next home from your living room sofa. Either with your own VR equipment or VR hired equipment.