Here’s how VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) technologies will continue to play an important role in the construction and real estate sector
As technology makes deeper inroads into every segment, how can an industry as large and important as real estate remain intact? Real estate is often seen as a family’s most important investment and greatest asset, but continues to be viewed in a very traditional way. But with changing times and technology affecting the industry in a big way, many new trends are emerging.
While it can be difficult to decode the various technologies that are making their way into the industry, it is important to discuss some that are revolutionizing the industry in unprecedented ways.
The idea of merging technology with real estate is still a relatively new concept; the idea is not to replace processes with technology, but to achieve higher levels of efficiency, transparency and ability to meet commitments. Technology and real estate go very well together in terms of saving time and reducing costs and wasted resources, which benefits both buyers, developers and sustainability in general.
With the advent of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, it is a whole new experience for buyers to have a real-time perspective and experience of properties to be built as well as properties under construction.
Many technology-savvy players are giving a significant boost to the sector. They realize the opportunity and the moment to harness the power of technology and be part of the larger revolution.
The rapid adoption of virtual reality in the industry is helping to provide customers with a highly engaging and immersive experience. With the use of virtual reality in combination with other technologies like cloud that are being deployed in real estate today, the sector is witnessing a holistic transformation, across all segments – be it residential, commercial or industrial.
The right combination of key advanced technologies can have immense potential impact, especially in the residential real estate segment. From small to medium-sized self-contained accommodation to villa communities and large apartment projects, these technologies can improve efficiency, transparency and functionality.
Today, when many sold properties are under construction and buyers often struggle to visualize their new home, virtual reality helps them get a real-time experience of their home as it was built. VR solutions provide customers with a realistic virtual tour and an experience that allows them to make informed decisions.
Plus, with lots of customizing and customizing involved in the build, VR helps achieve an almost perfectly designed product. In fact, virtual reality has a very obvious and impactful use, spreading into design visualization, customization, interior decorating, and product selection across project size and location. One of the biggest advantages of using virtual reality over more commonly used 3D rendering techniques is a high level immersion or realistic feeling of actually being there. This not only engages customers, but also helps them understand spaces and scales like never before. Such an experience allows consumers to have a space that they have envisioned over a period of time and want to actualize like no other.
For small and medium freelance projects, it allows for customizing the design and making product choices uniquely suited to each buyer’s preferences. For larger ones, it’s more about transparency and timely completion.
Many hi-touch and high-tech projects are also using high-end VR experiences as an extremely effective sales tool. The use of technology is essentially a much more dynamic, attractive, efficient and very cost-effective alternative and can complement the traditional physical model and samples very well.
360-degree interior design visualizations, virtual tours, and mobile AR/VR experiences are also more commonly used in projects of all sizes. With these, customers have the convenience and comfort of being wherever they are, while keeping a close eye on everything they need to enter their home. It is quickly becoming the standard for the industry and is expected to hit secondary and resale markets soon.
Although not as obvious as virtual reality, augmented reality over a period of time has also entered the industry and has niche use cases in construction and real estate. The most obvious use cases are for layouts and furnishings that are used in different parts of the home. Different fittings and accessories such as sanitary products and other accessories like cabinets can be superimposed on the finished structure to finalize the selection perfectly.
Interestingly, movable assets such as furniture can very well be visualized on the spot, grouped together and sold more efficiently through the effective use of AR. For larger projects, AR can be used to showcase and sell interior decor, fittings, and furniture on bare-boat structures. AR also has a unique use case in the construction process where design/BIM information can be overlaid on the construction site to ensure precise execution as well as to perform automated measurements and on-site quality checks.
Although the use of augmented reality/virtual reality is still in its early stages of development and has its own limitations at the moment – accessibility, affordability, etc., they should be resolved over a period of time. Currently, non-immersive AR technology, using cellphone cameras, can be used to implement many use cases with reasonable efficiency.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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