Want to buy a home in Ireland? Try it out in Virtual Reality

While virtual reality is going to offer a lot of exciting advances for gaming and social interaction, letting people do things they can’t in the real world goes far beyond shooting space aliens and commanding armies. An Irish estate agency, Sherry FitzGerald, is using it to show potential home buyers what their house could look like before it’s even built.

The technology being used to make this happen is the Samsung Gear VR headset, which offers Samsung Galaxy users the chance to try out basic, head-tracked virtual reality. While it lacks positional tracking and motion controls, it offers a high-resolution VR experience that home buyers are now utilizing to preview their potential home purchases.

Although the scheme is currently undergoing trials, Sherry FitzGerald is planning to extend it to every one of its offices within the next few weeks. It’s hoped that with the technology letting people see a high-resolution version of what the house will be like, they’ll be more convinced to put down a deposit than if they just saw floorplans and blueprints (as per SiliconRepublic).

Related: Samsung Gear VR review

On top of that though, virtual reality offers something that no image, even digitally created ones can, and that’s a sense of scale. With “generous floor to ceiling heights,” in the homes that Sherry FitzGerald is showcasing, letting users actually see with their own eyes how much headroom they’ll have, is far more effective than simple giving them some 2D images to look at.

The reason Sherry FitzGerald is so confident in this scheme though, is because it tried it out previously. While this is the first time it’s shown unbuilt homes to people in VR, it previously did walk-throughs of already existing homes, before taking potential buyers there, in order to gauge their reactions to the virtual and real version of the houses.

How do you feel about the idea of buying a house based around a virtual walk-through? While it might seem crazy, surely it’s better than just looking at plans.


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