Taking a seat in a stool and placing on a headset to experience virtual reality (VR) is a very new concept to many people. At the rate VR technology is growing there is huge potential for VR to become a mainstream practice for consumers in the near future. One aspect of VR we thought seemed the most interesting is how this could change the real estate environment. CEO of Invent Dev. David Payne is well versed in creating VR experiences that help to sell property. “The convenience benefit of virtual reality is that people can visualize and experience what it’d be like to be inside the house, but be able to do that from anywhere,” explains Payne.
David Payne with a VR device in front of one of his VR demonstration areas. Photo Credit: David Payne
For better understanding we started with a basic definition of VR from Oxford Dictionaries: “The computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.”
Photo Credit: David Payne
Now virtual reality is not something new, the idea and research around it has been ongoing for a long period of time. The idea of it becoming mainstream and available to consumers at a nearby store is a newer concept for 2016, and is predicted to grow very quickly over the next few years. “The engaging and immersive experience of virtual reality is quite spectacular, and we expect tremendous growth and adoption of VR in the coming years as virtual reality headsets become mainstream across a variety of industries including real estate,” states Payne, “We think the market traction is really going to take off. It already has in China. In China the content producers have access to consumer versions of headsets, with the recent launch of these headsets they’ve seen a tremendous growth and investment in VR, once people see VR for themselves it becomes pretty clear why VR is going to become big in the coming years.”
Have you experienced VR for yourself? Leave a comment with your experiences below!
The VR education continues!
There are two types of VR, one is a mobile or lighter version of VR, while the other is a wired/tethered version. Each are different and come with pros and cons.
Mobile VR: This version of virtual reality is the cheapest since you are able to rely on your smartphone device you may already have and either a cardboard headset or a cheaper plastic headset. The benefit of mobile VR is the convenience factor. The mobile version is interactive but not as enhanced of an experience that the tethered/wired version provides.
Tethered/Wired VR: This type of virtual reality requires you to be connected to a high end computer. The experience is much more interactive then the mobile version. You are able to walk around a space freely and change your environment.
Looking at online listings of homes is very time consuming and not always accurate when you are deciding whether to physically tour the house. Virtual reality is able to provide a real-life 3D look into the houses you are interested in buying without you having to leave your house. Model homes are beginning to be built in VR instead of on a plot of land. This creates huge environmental benefits considering in VR you are able to see what the home will look like in many floorplans with many finishings. Payne sums it up by saying how the power of VR with real estate is that it “Help[s] homebuyers really get a sense of a space from anywhere.”
Photo Credit: David Payne
To get a feel for how powerful VR really is, take a look at this video from Invent Dev. it shows people experiencing VR for the very first time!
Invent Dev Oculus Rift VR Marketing Video from Invent Dev on Vimeo.
Since this technology is so new, the future looks pretty good right now. Payne expands “The ability for anyone to experience any space from anywhere will have huge implications. In travel you could visit a hotel and see it before you book it. There’s so many different applications of virtual reality I think it will be a part of most people’s lives to some degree or another.”
The shift to a future where real estate developers and VR work together regularly will take time to integrate into regular daily use. When this happens it will provide the consumer and developer a positive and convenient experience from start to finish whether building or buying a house. “In Canada, it will be the developers who strive to offer the most convenient, engaging and helpful home-buying experience possible who will adopt virtual reality first,” says Payne, “Given how virtual reality model homes are cost effective, convenient, and provide a truly engaging home buying experience that captivates people, we expect virtual reality will play a major role in real estate in the coming years.”