Born out of the rapid advancements in 3D imagery and 360-degree photography in the 2000s, 2016 is set to be the year that virtual reality (VR) technology enters the mainstream and takes the world by storm. From Six Flags and their plans to introduce VR to rollercoasters at 9 of their parks in the United States, to live-saving training and outpatient applications in the medical industry, it is clear that the many implications of this new technology are enormous. Once thought to be the work of mere science fiction, the momentum for VR is quickly growing – and it’s here to stay.
Captivating users with incredibly immersive experiences, wearers of VR goggles are able to view 360-degrees around their surroundings in correlation to the tilt of their head, simulating the feeling of physically being in a space without actually being present. Combined together with lifelike 3D-imagery and moving platforms which respond to your every step as showcased at CES in Las Vegas, one can truly feel as if they have been transported into an entirely other world than their own while using VR.
Outside of the common applications for virtual reality in entertainment, healthcare and education, VR technology has the potential for completely revolutionizing digital marketing moving forward. Beyond question, it will also make an indelible impact on the way properties are presented in the luxury real estate marketplace for many years to come.
In 2014, Facebook made headlines for the company’s purchase of then up-and-coming California startup Oculus VR. In a deal estimated to have been valued over $2 billion USD, many analysts believe that one of the underlying factors contributing to Facebook’s decision in acquiring Oculus VR is virtual reality’s tremendous potential in the real estate industry. At Luxury Estates International, we are very proud to be the first luxury real estate brokerage in Las Vegas and among the first in the world to make use of cutting-edge VR technology in the marketing of our luxury listings.
While by no means a replacement for the invaluable knowledge and expertise provided by a licensed real estate professional, virtual reality empowers luxury real estate brokerages such as LEI to bring the increasingly commonplace 3D still image and video tours of the past into the next generation.
Extending the ability to virtually experience the atmosphere of an upscale property from afar, clients who are given the opportunity to tour a home in virtual-reality are consistently astonished. The realism, clarity and riveting effect of enjoying the lifestyle at an upper-floor penthouse at Veer or a stunning luxury home in Henderson that VR provides is unmatched by any other presentation form available today.
While VR technology continues to receive greater adoption, clients are also able to experience detailed 3D and 360-degree video tours of a property for themselves through their iPhone, iPad, or other gyroscope-enabled personal electronic device in comfort. With other major manufacturers including Microsoft, Google, Sony and Samsung stepping into the arena and even giving away free VR headsets to their customers, the increasing interest in virtual reality doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
Wherever VR technology leads us, it is already playing a role in altering the way we interact, perceive and experience the world around us. The future is the present, and now is the time to react to changes affecting the luxury real estate industry and others, leading ahead where clients need it the most.