Now you can buy a house using a VR headset

2 Mar 2016

Using a Samsung Gear VR headset to house hunt, via YouTube

Irish house buyers have a new toy to play with as VR headsets enter the field to help inform people who buy off the plans.

Samsung has entered the real estate game, providing Gear VR to allow house hunters to enjoy a virtual walkthrough of houses yet to be built.

It’s a bit strange, placing your faith in a digitally visualised blueprint but, if you’re all set to buy off the plans anyway, any added ‘experience’ is probably of benefit.

The project is being carried out through Sherry FitzGerald in Ireland, with plans to have a headset in every Sherry FitzGerald office in the country to help sell houses.

Buy a house in Ireland with a headset

The testbed for the partnership will be a yet-to-be-built development in Lucan, with potential buyers able to experience a more realistic view of the properties in the development than could be offered by simple floor plans or small-scale models.

According to Sherry FitzGerald – which set up originally, so is no stranger to diving into new waves of technology – its VR platform has been tested on two fully-functioning walkthroughs of new client home schemes, as well as it completing extensive user testing and feedback.

It’s a weird and quite nascent idea, but if VR capabilities do improve at the rate we all expect them to over the coming years, then this could become a regular feature throughout the sales world.

This video (starts at 00:50) should show you what it’s all about:

Buy a car with a headset

Samsung’s Adrian McInerney notes that this project is similar to one that itself and Audi runs, with headsets used to create a digital car showroom.

“We are already working with a number of companies in other regions and industries to create similar user experiences,” he says.

Elsewhere, Fiat Chrysler recently demoed how Project Tango-powered augmented reality software built by Accenture will help you buy a car in the near future.

Demoed at Mobile World Congress recently, it takes the technology developed by Google’s Project Tango – powered by the Irish chipmaker Movidius – and allows for the user to aim a device’s camera at a spot and generate a 3D image of their chosen car.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic