Over the past 30 years, virtual reality has evolved from a science fiction curiosity to an essential tool for the real estate industry. Today, cutting-edge technology is becoming commercially viable, thanks to the spread of affordable consumer hardware, like 360-degree cameras, and the proliferation of powerful smartphones and other mobile devices.
Virtual and augmented reality are poised to move beyond showroom demonstrations, with applications in the digital buying and selling process, as well as in design and construction. For example, on a recent tour of 9 DeKalb Avenue in New York City, an associate with SHoP, the architecture firm in charge of design for a 1,066-foot residential tower, pointed an iPad toward a hole in the ground and dropped a true-to-life rendering of the 74-story skyscraper.
The technology is made possible by the use of the Unity engine, a software platform created in 2005 for the video-game industry. Said SHoP's Adam Chernick, “We can visualize problems that would not be able to be seen from a computer screen."
From The New York Times
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