Virtual Reality (VR)
Will people really look at anything in VR?
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What is Virtual Reality?
Technology moves at such a fast pace these days that is sometimes hard to keep up to date with what is new. One of these such technologies is Virtual Reality (VR). The concept of VR has been used in movies and has been a part of popular culture for a long time. I think most people understand that VR is about creating an alternate, digital environment that through the use of a VR headset would allow you to feel like you are somewhere you are not.
VR has been a technology of the future for many years and in my opinion still has some work to become what most people would want to experience. However what most people do not realise is that most of us have the equipment already to be able to start experiencing the world of VR.
Most of the latest Smartphones from the likes of Apple and Samsung are already capable of displaying VR content. You do require a VR headset which are available online and in stores to activate this feature of your phone but they are a fairly inexpensive purchase. Google Cardboard viewers are very cost effective but if you are looking for a nicer viewing experience I would reccommend going with something like the Samsung Gear VR.
Most of us can view VR. Why would we?
Given most people have 80% of the equipment they need to view in VR the response I receive most when talking to people about it is “Why would I want to view something in VR?” This is a great question and one I hope I can answer.
In our line of work we create 3D Virtual models of houses, vehicles, property etc. These models can be viewed very nicely via your PC, Tablet or smartphone. They are designed to respond to touch screens and are a really great way to explore a property, caravan or vehicle.
Think if you will however, how much better would it be if your field of vision was such that you actually felt like you were in the property, caravan or vehicle? This is what our VR models will allow. The 3D models that we create can now be converted to a VR model and you can actually feel like you are visiting a house that is for sale or a display home that is in another state, or country.
This is perfect for todays instant society. We decide nowadays that we wish to do something and expect that we can jump online and see a video, view pictures or find information on the activity we have decided to pursue. When looking for houses to rent or buy we resign ourselves to many weekends of endless planning and driving trying to view properties we have seen on the internet and hoping that they will look like the pictures (this is not always the case).
With our 3D modelling and now with the ability to have these models converted into VR spaces you can visit an open home at your leisure, whenever and wherever you like.
For buyers this technology can really assist them to narrow down their choices and decide what houses or display homes they would really like to visit. For sellers this technology should be seen as a must. When recently trying to sell my own house I grew very weary of open homes and people coming through my house only to remark that the cupboard space is not what they are after or some other so called deal breaker. We had professional photos done of our property and yet people still could not get a good feel for the house, the flow of the property or have the ability to look at what mattered most to them about a property they wished to purchase.
If only we had done a 3D virtual tour. We could have had qualified interested buyers coming to our open homes as they would have been able to walk through the property at their leisure and look at what parts of the house mattered most to them online.
If I had a VR model people could have felt like they were actually walking through my house and navigate through the property simply by moving their head and focusing on the little blue dots that indicate the next viewing position.
Real estate agents should be using this new technology to help them market properties for buyers. The nature of looking for properties has been dominated by the online search portals like realestate.com.au and domain.com.au for a number of years. The speed with which an agent can list a property has changed from waiting for the next print run of the paper or their magazine to be almost instant. Having 3D virtual tours or more importantly VR enabled properties offers them a way to show a large number of properties to a potential buyer in a record amount of time. Just think you could have a client in your office, show them 10 properties in 15 minutes and have the client tell you which property they wish to see in the flesh so to speak as they already have some emotional attachment to the property after viewing in VR.
VR sounds like something I would like to experiment with. What Next?
Creating a Virtual Reality tour of your house, display home, caravan, motorhome or any other structure that is out of direct sunlight is easy. Contact Us and let us know the details of your project. We will schedule a time to be onsite. There are really 3 steps:
Step 1: Create the 3D model. This will take between 1 – 2 hours depending on the size of your project.
Step 2: We process the data and Create a 3D model for you. This will generally take 12 – 18 Hours.
Step 3: View your model in VR. We will supply you a link or a QR code whichever you are more comfortable with and you will be viewing your project in VR as soon as it has downloaded to your smartphone.
How to view a model in VR
I like the sound of VR. It sounds expensive though.
A lot of the information above does sound like there is an incredible amount of effort and computing power required to create a VR model. This is true. Creating a VR model is not a simple task however it is more cost effective than you may think. We complete 3D models for our clients for between $330.00 and $550.00 Inc GST. The price is dependent upon how long you would like your model hosted for and whether it is a house or a complex. We have other pricing for smaller projects like caravans and motorhomes. If you are interested in these prices please contact us and we will be happy to discuss costings for your project. Once your 3D model is created we then convert to VR. As a special offer to launch VR we are converting models for FREE until 31st December 2016. After this date the cost to upgrade your 3D model to VR will be an additional $150.00 inc GST on top of the price for the 3D model.
Will people really look at anything in VR?
I have been involved in technology for the past 20 years. I am inclined to say absolutely people these days wish to use all of the technology they have access to that can improve their lifestyle and their efficiency.
However there are many stats available that indicate that this is a technology of the future:
IHS Markit forecasts the following:
that the installed base of virtual reality headsets will grow from 4 million in 2015 to 81 million in 2020
that consumer spending on VR headsets will reach US$7.9 billion in 2020, with spending on VR entertainment reaching US$3.3 billion.
that consumer VR headset spending will reach US$1.6 billion this year
Smartphone VR headsets’ share of the VR installed base will be 87 per cent at the end of 2016
Some important tips for viewing in VR
We have been eagerly awaiting the boom of VR here at SkyCam UAV. We have been testing different headsets and software to understand what the experience would be like for our clients.
There are some key things we have learnt:
Sit don’t stand. The best way to really view VR safely (to avoid the need to walk or spin around) is to sit on a chair that swivels so that you can comfortably and safely spin 360 degrees to take in all aspects of the digital universe you are exploring.
Take breaks. Like watching TV your eyes can get a little strained looking at a screen that is effectively less than 10cm from your eyes. Take regular breaks to avoid fatigue whilst viewing VR.
Make sure the image is in focus. A lot of the headsets will have an option to focus the lenses to ensure a clear crisp image.
Do not be alarmed if the edges are a little blurred.
Explore the wealth of VR software available on the internet. There are some amazing things out there