Virtual Reality (VR) is fast becoming the perfect tool for testing and experimenting with products and experiences before they are created in the real world. Nowhere is that more apparent than the property industry. VR is the perfect way to envision space before it has been built. The property can be explored in true scale, with lighting and texture that represents how the property will look, once finished.
In this blog, we will look at three important sections of the property industry, VR for architecture, VR for interior design and VR for property development/sales. We hope to give an insight into how virtual reality is currently improving architecture, interior design and property development/sales and where VR will take the industry over the next few years.
VR for Architecture
A large part of the job of an architect is to imagine the internal and external space of a property, how the overall space will be divided and used to help the flow of the property.
Even the most experienced architect will never be able to perfectly envision exactly how their designs will look once the property is built. Virtual Reality solves this problem by allowing the architect to walk around their designs with real world scale, depth and spacial awareness, instantly getting a feel for the space of the rooms and whether the flow works as imagined. Seeing their designs in real world scale enables the architect to quickly see what is working and what needs tweaking. This is nothing short of a revolution in the workflow of the architect and will soon go one step further, allowing the architect to design within the virtual space. For example, an architect will able to adjust the placement of a window, in VR, and see how that will affect the light in the room or quickly knock out the walls around a kitchen to make an open plan living space. All in real time, in real world scale.
VR can also be a great tool for the architect to gather feedback from clients. Clients are not always used to reading architectural plans, and even 3D renders can fail to give a true sense of the architect’s ideas. By being guiding around their idea in VR, the client can easily understand the vision of the architect, which will allow them to give clear, concise feedback. This is already proving successful and leading to quicker project sign offs.
VR for Interior Design
As we have discussed above, visualising a property during construction or pre-construction can be difficult. Until recently, an interior designer has had to rely on their interpretation of the architectural plans and 3D mockups as they begin to plan the look of the property. Now, with virtual reality as part of their workflow, the interior designer can begin to explore the space of the property and start to change the material of the kitchen work surfaces, change the colour scheme of the walls and much more. Some VR apps are now even allowing interior designers to start adding furniture and products from real shops and place them anywhere with the VR property.
These tools are also available to the interior designer’s clients, allowing the client to add notes, suggest, or even make, changes within VR, helping the client to leave better feedback and get the project signed off quickly.
VR for Property Development/Sales
Selling property during the pre-construction or construction phase is never easy. Potential customers have to look at 2D plans, printed 3D mock ups or a video walkthrough, at best. This can leave them struggling to understand the property size, layout and flow.
With a virtual reality showroom (A VR visualization of the property), all these problems start to subside. They are free to look around their potential new home in real world scale, moving from room to room, exploring the kitchen, bathrooms etc. They can see how light fills a room, visualise how they would arrange their furniture and begin to think of the property as somewhere they could call home.
With the advances in mobile VR headsets, it is also now possible to send potential customers that cannot make it in your office a cheap VR headset to start exploring the property with their own phone.
Once the potential customers start making themselves at home within the VR property, making a sale becomes easier.
VRnet and the property industry
At VRnet, we are constantly striving to push the limits of VR in the property industry. We have created a set of world leading VR property tools to allow architects, property developers, interior designers and property purchasers to view property in virtual reality.
Our VR engine is lightning fast, has beautifully realistic 3D models with high end lighting and materials. Our automated system lets our users upload their property files and quickly, automatically convert them into VR walkthroughs.
Future updates will include:
- The ability to change various design features within VR, including paint colour, wallpaper, surfaces and other materials.
- The ability to change the sunlight using real world data (gps, property height) that will allow us to show the light direction and height as it will look. Eg, see the property in mid winter or the height of summer.
- The ability to show the property in various conditions, sunlight, light clouds, heavy clouds, rain, storm and nighttime.
- The ability to switch on/off internal lights to get a sense of differing ambience.