Metricon using VR for new home previews (Updated)


Australia’s largest home building company, Metricon Homes is giving potential home buyers the opportunity to experience their future home in virtual reality. On offer is a ‘Virtual Display Experience’ which lets people place a Samsung Gear VR on their head and look around the environment which will be a growing selections of display homes. As VR hardware drops in price, consumers can to expect more creative use of the technology and this implementation from Metricon is a great addition.

It seems the Australian first for real estate VR, actually went to Owens Casserly Real Estate back in May of this year.

The first location you can enjoy the (VR) technology is Wonthaggi in Victoria’s south-east. The Virtual Display Experience is a great opportunity for those new homebuilders in regional areas who face the geographical challenges of visiting a display home. The virtual reality display homes will save families valuable time and the inconvenience of travelling huge distances, sometimes interstate, when choosing their dream home.

Melbourne-based company Scann3D was responsible for bringing the virtual display homes to life. To create the virtual imagery, 3D scanners captured the interior spaces using a combination of infrared lasers and photogrammetry. This data was then optimised, through various rendering programs and compression algorithms to create a virtual reality experience.

The technology allows the user to step in to the home and take a tour. The technology gives users the opportunity to feel like they’re actually in the space and eventually will be available at home for those with VR headset to leverage. With the headset accelerometer tracking the user’s head movements, that movement correlates into correlating high-quality visuals in the virtual environment, allowing you to virtually visit the display home.

While the Oculus Rift will come with hand controllers, the Galaxy VR has controls on the side of the headset allowing you to navigate the house, even walking up stairs as you move your head or spin around to see the room behind you. This should give you a good sense of proportions and we’d expect the number of VR locations to grow quickly.

Over time I’d love to see Metricon enable the user to switch in optional layouts, extensions and customisations. That’s really where virtual reality has strong advantages over 360 video. Crazy home builders like myself, model their homes in 3D software to full understand the consequences of changes and options in their new home. Obviously not everyone has the skills or time to do this, so a business developed solution that scales to regular folk is certainly going to be appreciated and could be the difference between someone going with Metricon vs another builder.

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Steven Kounnas, Co-founder of Scann3D said,

“With such growth in the Australian home building industry there are more display homes than ever to visit. It is wonderful to see a company such as Metricon using emerging technologies to make the display home visit more efficient and enjoyable for many Australians.
This virtual reality technology gives the customers the ultimate experience. They can conveniently view as many properties as possible and enjoy a streamlined selection process.

It’s great to see an influential company such as Metricon embrace the use of Virtual Reality. This is a fantastic step forward in introducing VR to the general public. As hardware and software becomes more commercially viable, VR will soon become commonplace in every household. It’s through creative partnerships such as these that emerging technology is able to reach a wider audience in a shorter amount of time.”

Ross Palazzesi, Managing Director for Metricon Homes said,

“Metricon strives to be at the forefront of our industry so it is important that we embrace new technologies. The Virtual Display Experience is not only exciting, because it is a first in Australia, but it is extremely practical. It’s important that we offer our regional customers a valuable and completely unique experience, all while solving basic geographical challenges. We hope to offer this technology to other regional centres across the country in the future. At the end of the day, our focus is always on the customer and how we can give them the best Metricon experience.”

The Virtual Display Experience is designed to be as close to visiting a display home as possible. As the user enjoys the virtual display, Metricon sales staff can accompany them around the home, seeing what they see, and providing a personalised sales experience. Customers can even view display home exclusive to other states, all while standing in their hometown.

The Metricon Virtual Display Experience will launch with three of the most popular home designs available to view – the Chelsea and Denver from the Designer by Metricon range and the Delta from the Freedom by Metricon range.

For more information, head to Metricon.

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This post is authored by techAU staffers. Used rarely and sparingly when the source decided to keep their identity secret, or a guest author who isn't seeking credit.

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