This is the original version of the article published in the print edition of Business Leader.
During the mid to late 90’s, countless industries were profoundly impacted by the proliferation of the Internet. Take real estate. Today it’s hard to believe that people used to endure the home buying process without going online. Gaining the ability to see a house before deciding whether it’s worth the drive transformed the buying experience for the better. What’s next?
If a picture is worth a thousand words, Virtual Reality (VR) speaks volumes.
Despite the fact that most mobile phones sold in 2015 can provide an immersive 3D experience, recent studies show that only around 11% of American population have ever peeked into a VR headset, let alone owned one. No surprise. Aside from looking undeniably dorky, the headsets were expensive and only provided blocky cartoon-like pictures, albeit in 3D. The only content available for them were for military and pilot simulations, plus games for kids endowed with allowances as big as their imaginations.
2016 may be marked as the year that VR goes mainstream. As of Q4-2015 the awkward helmets that once cost $5000 are slimmed down to lightweight goggles, greatly improved, and affordably priced at $99. What does this mean for business owners?
If you’re in business, especially in the real estate industry where buyers need to see what they are buying, 2016 is when you can finally show your listings in true 3D. I won’t say this changes everything for property listings process, but it certainly adds a new dimension — the third dimension. Rather than taking snapshots or delivering warped panoramic images, now you can deliver a 3D virtual reality walk-through that your buyer can experience from the comfort of their own home.
Last month I had an opportunity to produce a virtual tour of one of the largest homes in the midwest. At 18,876 square feet, it’s a sight to behold and serves as an excellent example of the future of home buying. Don’t break your piggy bank. It’s not for sale. But, you’ve got to see this house with its 4-story home elevator for yourself. This was put together for the company that installed the custom residential elevator and had it professionally designed with beautiful tile and woodwork to fit the luxury home. The interesting thing about the technology behind the presentation is how easily and immersively it captures the space. Check this out: