• Thu. Jun 20th, 2024

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Innovative housebuilder takes virtual reality to the next level

SME developer Kingswood Homes is revolutionising the way people buy new homes by enabling viewers to create their own internal floorplans using virtual reality technology whilst standing in their potential new property.

Buyers at Kingswood Homes’ developments in Lancashire and Devon can don a VR headset and see walls shift and rooms appear and disappear as they walk through the completed shell of a property, as part of the company’s ground-breaking ‘Shape Your Home’ concept.

It allows buyers to customise the interior layout of a property to match their own lifestyle and ‘see’ in real time how the home would look with various floorplan configurations.

Kingswood Homes managing director Paul Jones, said: “We launched Shape Your Home during lockdown, recognising that not everyone wants the same interior layout. The layout of a home is hugely personal yet is currently determined largely for the convenience of the developer not the customer.

“We have reversed that and the VR technology allows customers to walk through an actual property and see how the different layout options would suit them. Rather than trying to make an existing floorplan meet their needs, our customers can now specify a design they have experienced which perfectly suits them from day one.

“For example, one option is to turn a four-bedroom property into one with three en-suite bedrooms. Another would be to open up the ground floor to create vast open-plan living space. It’s hard to visualise from a floor plan, but we can now let customers stand in the shell of a house and see it transform in front of their eyes.

“It is remarkable technology but the point of it all is to give customers the best possible experience and help them create the home of their dreams.”

Kingswood linked with established digital technology and VR specialists Animmersion UK to create the bespoke real time viewing technology.

Utilising gaming engine technology most commonly found powering the latest PC and console games, Animmersion UK’s solution delivers experiences across multiple digital channels including VR, interactive touchscreens and online virtual tours.

The VR option links to an external tablet device to enable agents to support customer wearing the headset, guiding them and sharing the experience from outside the virtual environment.

It also aligns the VR space with the real world allowing the user to walk around the physical space safely, overseen by the agent, while experiencing the enhanced virtual presentation of their potential new home.

Samuel Harrison, Managing Director of Teesside-based Animmersion UK, said: “Virtual Reality and VR headsets are becoming increasingly popular for leisure and business purposes and the technology is evolving at a rapid rate. This is enabling us to develop specialist immersive content for new applications like this project for Kingswood Homes that give users a very unique experience adapted to their specific use case.

“Working closely with Kingswood Homes we have been able to push the boundaries to build a solution that combines technologies with a simple, easy to use and engaging experience for their customers.  It also enables their agents to manage the experience with their customers from outside the VR to make it both an immersive and collaborative approach for choosing a bespoke new home.”