Virtual reality takes over high-end realty in Hyderabad

HYDERABAD: From giving prospective hires a 360-degree tour of the office to showcasing fully-furnished luxury villas and high-end apartments, the benefits of using virtual reality in real-world situations is fast catching up with the highon-technology Hyderabadi janata. With nothing more than a software application installed on a smartphone and a headset, virtual reality (VR) allows customers to instantly step into a simulated world and even interact with artificial elements in the imagined space.

“It is in high demand now, especially among high-end real estate players in the residential sector. All they have to provide us is the floor plan. Using our software and a VR headset, one is instantly in a different space, where you can walk between rooms, explore various designing options and even enjoy the view from a window,“ said Vaishali Neotia, co-founder of Merxius, a technology innovation company that recently built a platform for interior designers and architects to produce VR outputs.

For Prudhviram K, managing director of KMV Spaces, a vertical of KMV group of builders, the biggest advantage of using this `immersive’ and `engaging’ medium lies in its portability. The group recently hired a company specialising in VR experiences to show case its luxury villa project launched in Vijayawada earlier this month. “One clear advantage is that with VR all you require is a software application and a headset. Also, the customer is able to get a better sense of the space available and the possible customisation options inside the given space,“ said Prudhviram.

Even as companies that create apps and experiences in VR have grown in number, other firms in the market have also been jumping on the VR bandwagon. The applications of VR technology, beyond gaming, is already being explored by many companies in the real estate, tourism, marketing, education and healthcare sectors, say observers. One critical reason behind the trend is cheaper hardware.

“When we ventured into the field five years ago, the situation was completely different and people were only interested in augmented reality (AR). It was only in 2014 that a client requested a virtual reality experience. The fall in prices of VR headsets is the reason for an increased consumer market for these products,“ said Hemanth Satyanarayana, founder and CEO of Imaginate, an AR-and VR technology-based enterprise that recently created a ‘simulated working environment’ for asset management firm Invesco. This allows candidates to even interact with employees of the firm while taking a virtual tour of its office.

According to Vishal Reddy, founder and CEO of Wowsome which creates ‘interactive print ads’ and augmented marketing solutions for brands, VR can be considered one of the most ‘disruptive’ technologies of today . It is mixed reality or an overlay of the existing physical space with virtual, artificial content that will soon take the country by storm, he said.

“Using our app, an advertisement or promotion can be made interactive by adding virtual elements to it. Since this doesn’t require users to wear headsets, it appeals more to the common man than VR does and even has more real-life applications,“ said Reddy, whose start-up, incorporated in early 2015, has created content for brands like Mercedes, Budweiser and L’Oréal so far.

Credits ET Realty

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