You Can Take a Tour of Your Building Project with VR

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Virtual reality is opening up new avenues for gaming and tech, but what about other fields?

It looks like the architects of today are taking advantage of the technology of tomorrow with augmented reality and virtual reality tours of projects still under construction or even in the planning phase.

In what is probably the biggest leap forward for architects since CAD software, AR and VR is giving a whole new generation the opportunity to take their designs to the next level, all without breaking ground.

But AR and VR aren’t just being used by the building companies and the architects behind their projects.

It’s also being used by agents looking to sell real estate – and it’s having amazing results.

The New York Times recently featured a story by Aili McConnon that talks about this very development.

Using the Avalara Hawk Tower in Seattle as an example, the team behind it employed VR tech to lease out its office space in the yet to be completed tower. It apparently worked, too: The company leased out all of its available office space before the project was even finished.

One future tenant said of the experience, “We could understand what it would be like to stand inside our office and look out the windows, or on the deck and look over CenturyLink Field, all while standing in a dusty, empty lot.”

This novel use of AR and VR tech is not going away anytime soon either. After a few successful trials, more and more companies are latching onto it as a way to market future properties. And the sky is literally the limit for what AR and VR can do.

Rising largely in lockstep with consumer-grade VR technology, this new approach to marketing real estate really borrows heavily from the video game experience. Using tools and tech, not unlike that found in VR games, the future of virtual reality as a tool for demonstrating a future space or even a product is not really something beyond the ken of most gamers.

Indeed, games thrive off of creating environments that don’t exist – why would this be any different for a virtual reality game?

But it’s not just marketing the properties, it is also improving them. When people see the product in VR before it is finished, they can make changes to it before materials are purchased. Workers can even have input on the process. This is radically different from the older style of physical modeling and, in many cases, just “going with best practices.”

With VR and AR, designers can see a room before it is made and can change looks according to changing tastes; engineers can rework an entryway to make it more dramatic; an architect can change the exterior before the foundation is even laid.

But most of all the advantage of VR for construction lies in its ability to cut costs and save money – and that is something that ensures its success more than anything else.


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