What Virtual Reality Could Do For Home Builders

As virtual reality technology moves from being pure theory from a futuristic world to being used to improve daily work and play, some fields stand to benefit in particular. Oculus Rift is a headset offering a 360 degree view of an interactive virtual world. The Virtuix Omni takes it one step forward and lets the user move body parts with what they are seeing. Microsoft HoloLens allows augmentation of images in addition to new options for viewing workspaces remotely in a variety of ways in conjunction with the forthcoming Windows 10. While it is true that this is not yet part of daily business, new ways of getting the job done and playing games are right around the corner.

Design and Home Building

One of the ways Microsoft HoloLens facilitates better working conditions is by allowing, for example, participants in an online conversation to view what the others are working on, from their perspective. They can collaborate on design and easily follow what the other means while looking at virtual blueprints for building projects together.

Technology Connected with Oculus Rift Facilitates Better Building 

Arch Virtual builds three dimensional virtual reality simulation of architectural projects, including for home building, in conjunction with Oculus Rift Virtual Reality lens.

What this implies for home building:

  • Buyers can better visualize their future homes using three dimensional simulation
  • Buyers can take virtual tours of their potential homes.
  • Investors can tour proposed housing building projects and make suggestions for improvements based on what they see.
  • Facilitates architect/buyer relationships by allowing customers to experience more realistically what they are paying for, by letting them see blueprints on terms more appropriate for non-architects.
  • Customers can create drafts for their “dream homes”, thus having the ability to have more personally “customized” homes.

The Potential for Self-Designed Homes

The market for building houses could become more lucrative and a lot more fun with the new technology. Architects can put together choices displayed visually and digitally for customers to look at and choose between. Features were always something customers could pick out, but this way it could become a lot more comprehensive and simple. Virtual reality can make things that were previously difficult to understand more accessible by providing three-dimensional models that non-architects can tour.

Communication is Facilitated

Communication between builders and planners can also be made simpler. Planners can create models, make them three-dimensional and then communicate this via 3d tours on a virtual reality lens and corresponding software. Materials and costs can also be tracked more accurately this way, with less waste. This is great news for investors, buyers and contractors alike. Resource allocation and budget planning can be made more stream-lined in the future, allowing optimized projects and planning.

The Future is 3D

As new technology like Oculus Rift become common use, more and more uses will reveal themselves. Now is the time for investors and professionals to educate themselves on the features of new products and software to put into practice for building, planning, and more.

Video Isn't just for Big Business Anymore

Youtube is more than just the place to go for interesting, funny, strange, and slightly odd videos.  Businesses are using it to promote their products and services.  Thanks to sites like YouTube, it is affordable for any size business to create its own videos.  This allows small businesses to compete on a larger scale against major corporations.

Companies use 3D animation to bring their products to life for the customer.  The videos do more to sell the product because it brings parts of the message to life that are usually static. If you look at social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, you will notice that more people share links to videos and images than they do to articles.  This means that you can get your message out to more people with video than with an email or article telling about your product or service.

Viral video is another area where marketing can utilize modern technology to build their brand.  How many times have you seen a simply put together video get thousands of views and even get mentioned on national TV shows because something about it captivated people?

Video allows marketers to introduce their product in a way that people will actually use it with produce simulation.  You can show people how a product feels, looks, behaves, or works for a customer.  This will be more enticing than just using words to convey those images.

Testimonials are also more compelling in video.  You can read the satisfied customer’s words, but imagine how much more believable it is when you can actually see the customer as they tell you how happy they are with a company’s product or service.  Video testimonials will convert more people to your business than written testimonials alone.

Video can put a face to a name if you want people to get to know your company.  Many businesses will have their CEO or business owner do a video telling about the company and its products or services and what makes them better than the competition.  This message is more memorable with video than the written word.

Modern video techniques including 3D animation and product simulation can be utilized in marketing campaigns to introduce new customers to your business and your product or service.  Video is affordable for every business whether they are a major corporation or a new startup with limited funding.  This levels the playing field and gives new companies a chance without requiring a major advertising budget.

Improve Sales Using Augmented Reality

If you want to capture people’s attention in today’s busy world, you have to feature interactive simulation of products.  It’s not enough to tell people about a product or even show them the benefits of using a specific brand or item.  You have to get them involved so they feel like part of the product.  That is the point at which you can begin to develop brand loyalty.


A good example of how that is achieved is through the augmented reality app that Heinz developed.  It was designed to market the company’s tomato ketchup with a pop-up book featuring recipes using the ketchup as an ingredient.

Recipes would pop out when the camera was placed on top of the product.  Users could look through the recipes and download as a PDF.  They could also view the recipes as videos on the Facebook page of the product.  The goal for the company was to inspire users to try new ways of using the product while they are out rather than waiting for them to visit a website to find the recipes.

This is just one instance of how this technique can be used to draw people in.  Marketing has achieved new levels of brand awareness by incorporating new technology into their advertising campaigns.  Heinz is not the only company to focus on a mobile app to sell their product.  As more people move from traditional computers and laptops to mobile devices, mobile applications will play a stronger role in marketing.

Businesses that want to be relevant will have to move to mobile.  They can create simple apps designed to provide information about a product or company.  While that is the easiest way to begin in mobile marketing, it cannot be the only way a business gets involved.  To be effective, the mobile development must also include the user in the experience.  This ensures that they feel more connected and involved; it will also make them more likely to tell their friends about the application and convince them to try it.

Mobile marketing is the trend of the future, utilizing interactive applications and augmented reality to enhance the user’s experience.  Businesses that want to stay at the forefront of their industry must learn to compete in this arena to capture their visitors’ attention and to create a loyal following.  This will ensure that their campaigns have a high conversion rate and are more successful.

Kinecting the Dots- Imagine Cup Demos Versatility of the Kinect

The summer has delivered more that its share of geeky get-togethers. From the Google I/O to Comic-Con, there have been enough nerdy round-ups to keep even the most sophisticated of Sci-Fi aficionado happy. But one of the more impressive tech fests of the season was the Microsoft Image Cup Competition, held this year in Sydney, Australia. The five-day competition pitted teams from all over the world together to find the best new applications of Microsoft products. There were impressive entries ranging from smart phones that locate land mines to automated shopping carts that aid those in wheelchairs. But far and away the most impressive device used in this competition was the Microsoft Kinect.

The winner was the Ukrainian quadSquad, who developed Enable Talk, a glove capable of translating sign language into audible speech, and many of the devices in competition were geared towards health and education, but there were those who geared towards energy conservation as well. But the American Team Whiteboard Pirates’s entry “Duck Duck Punch” was a feature in a Popular Science write-up of the event, and an excellent example of what developers using the Kinect are capable of producing.

Duck Duck Punch was developed with the help of a physical therapist as a tool in the recovery of stroke victims. It uses the Kinect to monitor the movement of patients who play the game as a means of stimulating muscle memory. “The trick with stroke rehabilitation is that it's not really the victims' [limbs] that need rehabilitating,” Popular Science explains. “It's their brains. The muscles themselves are capable of making the movement, but the brain believes it can't. The game draws on the idea of “mirror therapy,” in which the brain, seeing an image of a moving limb, believes the body is making that motion, even if it isn't.”

What makes the Kinect so effective is the precision of its measurements. A team from Belgium also submitted a sign-language device that allows the friends and family of the hearing impaired to mimic the signs to various words. This is something that would be difficult for anything except a precision instrument. Popular Science also reports how various businesses have started applying this technology. One company named Ikkos Training has used a similar program to assist in the training of certain athletes—including Michael Phelps. Their gear monitors the movements of its clients and shows how they can improve their form through the same type of muscle memory triggers used by the stroke therapy patients.

What moments like these at the Imagine Cup show us are the possibilities that entertainment and digital animation technology can open up in other areas. Along with types of Augmented Reality like Google Glass and the rapid changes going on in smart phone development, devices like Duck Duck Punch demonstrate the increasing role that interactive and virtual technology will play in everyday life—and soon. And while the Kinect may help only some of us reach our Olympic dreams, the rest of us can sleep a little better knowing that our loved ones are being taken that much better care of.