The Home Show is already known for modern technology and design; PropertyStart bolstered that claim with their virtual reality (VR) approach to traditional floor plans.
The term VR is often thrown around these days. Everyone is trying to capitalise on the exciting new tech. Yet, past the impressive demos, it struggles to find its feet as something useful.
Plug & Play
So, when we donned the oversized goggles at the bustling Home Show, we were astonished. We were transported into a Scandinavian home on a rainy day. With the goggles on, you can move your head around, physically walk around and even duck to peer around objects.
Two controllers, one for each hand, teleport you around the home with the flick of a button. If you have a larger space, it would be possible to walk through the house physically. Another strange sensation was floating. Much akin to an out of body experience, we were able to fly above the rooftop inspecting the tiles and surrounding buildings. Beware: those with vertigo may suffer!
Owner and master programmer Armen Grigorian spoke from experience about the challenges of building a home: “There are a large number of people who have difficulty visualising a floor plan. What is 4×4? What is 3×4? Is the kitchen going to be big enough? Is the bedroom going to accommodate a king size bed?” His technology takes the guesswork out of the process.
The textures aren’t highly detailed representations, but enough to get a feel for the home and spot flaws or opportunities in the design. The next demo we entered was a street of houses. An example builders or architects can show off to clients. You can stroll down the road, admiring the comparative features of each home.
The technology was Windows Mixed Reality, Microsoft’s platform for VR using an Acer headset. Without calibrating any of the bells and whistles, putting the headset on was as easy as putting on sunglasses.
VR as a Service
Some of you might still be wondering what VR is. And without trying it, your confusion would be understandable. It’s something that even the best writers (ahem) can’t adequately convey. Seeing really is believing. The Home Show made a perfect platform to try the technology and ask follow up questions.
What’s on offer here is not the VR itself, anyone can go out and buy a headset. The 3D modelling of your home is a truly spectacular offering. For those of you determined to move your project forward quickly, Property Start promises a fully functional app for your dream home in less than 72 hours. All they need is floor plans from CAD or PDF.
Builders & Architects
When it comes to winning jobs, nothing can inspire a customer more than showing them the finished product. It plucks the idea from the mind and makes it a reality, inspiring trust in the final design.
A professional colour consultant developed a pre-built swappable texture palette including industrial, Scandinavian and coastal colours. Advanced lighting models shine light through windows for different times of day, casting shadows which will either complement or ruin the Feng shui. This level of advanced planning is impossible with just drawings. In future versions, it will be possible to insert furniture and actually decorate the place in real time.
“Sometimes they realise after the construction begins when the walls are up that they’ve made a mistake. So they have to ask the builders to start making changes during construction which runs into thousands of dollars because they have to stop construction, move walls, demolish windows, put it back. With this technology, we’re trying to minimise that.” explained Armen.
For consumers looking to build their own home, this technology is crucial to staying on budget. Having their design decked out gives them control over how their project moves forward so they can better instruct the builders. Most builders need clear, concise instructions and VR transforms concepts to concrete plans.