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Real estate buyers in Singapore can view potential homes in VR

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Image: victoria ho/mashable

SINGAPORE For many homebuyers, picking a new apartment means going down an endless journey of showrooms. But some real estate companies in Singapore are trying a different approach, to avoid the cost and time needed to construct a traditional display space.

In a first for a property developer in Singapore, Keppel Land built virtual reality versions of three and four-bedroom units. It is showing the apartments using Oculus Rift, and has built a mobile friendly version here that agents take to potential clients on the go.

The VR demo will stand alongside Keppel’s existing physical High Line show flats.

Albert Foo, Keppel Land’s general manager for marketing, explained that the company decided to get larger showroom in VR, in order to avoid the cost of building and leasing new land, not to mention saving time.

Constructing three and four bedroom showflats would’ve taken about six months, whereas the VR versions were done in just two, he added.

With the headset on, visitors can look around the units and tap to go into the bedrooms and get a feel of the space.

A view of the bathroom.

Image: screenshot/keppel land

However, they won’t be able to simulate walking through the apartments. It’s like spinning on the spot looking at 360 degree photos of each room.

Lee Hon Kit, executive director of Visual Media Works (VMW), which built the VR demo, told Mashable the simpler 360 view of the room was chosen over a more complicated version, because it’s more user friendly for the masses which haven’t tried VR yet.

“There are fewer buttons to click on the Oculus Rift,” he said.

Lee added that the Oculus Rift was chosen in part because of the “neater” set up in the physical space. Other VR headsets need multiple wires, while the Oculus Rift has sound, audio and movement going through one bundle to the PC, he said.

VMW has also included a soundtrack of actual recordings made in the property’s district in Tiong Bahru, which is aimed at adding to the realism of being in the virtual apartment.

Fitting a couch in your virtual home

A local home furnishing retailer also took a stab at VR recently. Commune Lifestyle created a virtual showroom of its furniture, and invited millennials to try on the headsets to see how a new couch would fit in their homes.

Image: commune lifestyle

The demo on the HTC Vive allows users to walk around in a space, and crouch up and down to explore it.

The company told us VR isn’t meant to replace a real life showroom, but it could be useful in helping expand the space of some of its smaller outlets.

Image: commune lifestyle

Image: COMMUNE LIFESTYLE

The company, which has 122 products on its online catalogue at time of writing, plans to roll out the VR demo across its four stores islandwide, as well as “most” of its overseas outlets.

It has 19 outlets in China, three in Malaysia, and another in Indonesia.

Originally found athttp://mashable.com/