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A property developer has revealed what it claims as the world’s first virtual reality display village, indicating what the future of buying property may look like.
Revealed for the first time at Melbourne’s Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Villawood Properties’ Rathdowne display village in Wollert utilises Oculus Rift headsets and hand controllers to let people walk around a simulation of display homes on a street as well as explore the area’s local community.
Rory Costelloe, Villawood Properties executive director, said that the next technology can better help potential buyers assess the size of the property and the land.
“Through the virtual display village, we can give customers better guidance around the size and type of home suitable for their block of land, which in turn provides greater choice and convenience in selecting their home,” Mr Costelloe said.
“The virtual display village at Rathdowne is unlike anything the property industry has ever seen before and will transform the way property is marketed, with [its] wide-ranging implications for builders, developers and customers alike.”
The difference between this virtual display village and other virtual-based offerings, according to ACMI chief experience officer Seb Chan, is that a typical technological offering is usually 360 degrees photography or video of properties that is then relayed through a VR headset.
“Now we’re starting to see growth in interactive virtual reality. The difference being, the latter offers an immersive experience which they can engage with and control and it is more like a video game model in that you can move smoothly through the environment, rather than stepping between photographic ‘hot spots’,” Mr Chan said.
“The interactive VR space is also impressive from the production side in that architects and builders can export their models straight into the virtual world.”
Creating the virtual display village came as a collaboration between Villawood Properties, designer and CGI specialist Grand Visuals and five different builders: Porter Davis, Nostra Homes, Dennis Family Homes, Simonds Homes and Eight Homes.
Travis McIver, general manager for Nostra Homes, said that the process of building a traditional display village takes typically six months, which can be cut down considerably for a virtual version.
“A great aspect about a virtual display village is the time difference in bringing the product to life for our clients to experience. Typically, our displays take approximately six months to complete construction once land is ready to build on. With VR, bringing our display to life removes this time frame,” Mr McIver said.
The Villawood virtual display village will be available for viewing from 14 April in the Rathdowne area and is being looked at being rolled out for other areas in the future.