Housebuilders should not write off virtual reality (VR) as being a technology for gamers and realise the full range of opportunities for the medium, according to managing director of Virtual Worlds, Nathan Maclean.
Despite currently being the most highly-publicised and well known use of the technology, uptake on VR headsets for gaming has been relatively slow in the UK market with many suggesting that a combination of high cost and a lack of enticing releases is making gamers struggle to justify the investment.
However, in other fields virtual reality is beginning to make a very real impact, most notably in design, construction, healthcare and even filmmaking.
“When most people think of virtual reality they automatically think of a youngster in their bedroom playing a first-person shooter video game,” explained Maclean. “But in actual fact what we’re seeing is that VR is making a much bigger impact in much more practical ways across the UK.
“There have been many high-profile cases recently showing how it can significantly help individuals recovering from varying health conditions, and film-makers are using it to tell stories that can captivate an audience in a more immersive way than ever before.
“We’re undoubtedly seeing a trend towards greater use of virtual reality when working on a project. No longer do customers have to imagine what the end product will look like – they can see it right there in front of them and even interact with the objects around them.
“It’s a whole new way for designers to showcase their creativity and gives customers a much more immersive way of sampling it and suggesting any changes they would like to make.”
Virtual Worlds’ incorporate catalogues from some of the leading names in kitchens and bathrooms including the likes of Laura Ashley and Ideal Standard, to help create lifelike spaces, in which designers can create the kind of details users would expect from the end result.
“Virtual reality is thriving, and we would expect these sorts of applications to only grow in prominence over the next few years,” continued Nathan. “But the important thing to remember is that VR is not just for gaming – it is making a big difference for housebuilders, helping to increase revenue and save valuable time and that looks like it is only set to continue.”