It may seem futuristic, but even the home you live in may be headed towards the virtual sphere, at least when it’s on the market. Real estate agents have been making the first forays into selling homes by displaying their virtual counterparts, recording detailed video maps that potential buyers can watch from anywhere with virtual reality goggles.
A virtual house tour lets anyone interested “walk” through a home and experience it more fully than they could from pictures, getting a feel for the space and a sense of scale and detailed that you’d traditionally achieve only be physically walking inside. Sellers get to expand their markets and reach potential buyers around the country and even around the world.
For commercial buildings, the technology opens doors by allowing architects and designers to share their vision with renters or investors at the earliest stages of the project. With VR, the space can be toured even while it is still under construction — or even before. Drawing board renderings and mock ups can be brought to (digital) life before their beneficiary’s eyes, allowing them to visualize a space even before it exists and letting builders get a jump-start on leasing a new building.
Naturally, it isn’t cheap, but it’s not as prohibitive as you might expect. A VR scan of a home can cost $300 – $700, which is hardly a bad investment on high-end homes. Rendering an as-yet nonexistent building is considerably more costly, making it sensible for only large projects, but 3D tech will only become cheaper and more feasible as it advances. It may not be too wild to imagine a world in which shopping for your next family home is akin to browsing Amazon.