PodcastConsumer and Home Design Trends

Gaming Tech Comes to Home Building

Dean Wehrli
John Burns photo

Dean Wehrli

John Burns

October 18, 2019

The gaming industry has led the development of 3D video tools that builders and architects are now using to enhance sales, reduce construction costs, and speed up entitlements. These tools are virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

In this podcast, our host Dean Wehrli talks “gamer estates” with architect Eric Zuziak, partner and president of JZMK Partners, to learn more about how his firm is using VR and AR.

Featured guest

Eric Zuziak, Partner and President, JZMK Partners

"In the past I used to have to do a presentation with 2D drawings and say 'Imagine if you will...' Today I say, 'Here, put this on. Check this out.'"

Virtual Reality (VR)

Architects now design great spaces in virtual reality, allowing their clients and influencers to view the designs using three tools:

  • Google Cardboard: A $15 cardboard box that uses the motion sensor in your phone to create a binocular-like image.
  • Mobile VR: A $100+ headset that also works with a phone and is easy to bring to a meeting. The view through the headset is a high-quality image of a static surrounding, so you can turn your head and see around you. Some examples include Oculus Go VR, Samsung Gear VR and the recently discontinued Google Daydream VR.
  • Roomscale VR: A $450+ high-quality virtual reality wireless headset that has controllers, is powered by a desktop or gaming console, and allows you to walk around, interacting with the space and even “teleporting” yourself to another place in the room. Examples include HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Playstation VR.

"As an architect, it's fantastic because what you see in your mind....You can actually feel like you're walking into something real."

Benefits include:

  • allowing interested parties such as city planners or potential buyers to view a project before it is built
  • eliminating the misunderstanding of “site and view” relationships, capitalizing on the view premium of a particular site
  • helping potential buyers envision their home earlier in the process, which is particularly valuable in large, multifamily projects
  • options selection, including structural options

Eric programs using Enscape (click for one-minute demo video) and Dean points out how many of the issues identified at a walkthrough can now be caught earlier in the process, saving significant time and money.

“VR will thrive on the design and sales side. AR is going to thrive in the construction space.”

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality allows the user to look through a transparent lens to include the built world around them. Construction crews can now put on a visor and see the framing on a slab before it is built, or an inspector can “walk” through the building and point out potential issues before the building gets built.

The Future

The future includes a web-based interface that allows multiple people to walk through a space together, even though they are not together. This allows builder salespeople to tour a space with a remote buyer.

“Frightening and amazing at the same time.”

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About The Author

Dean Wehrli
Dean Wehrli
Dean helps housing sector clients figure out not just what might work and what might not, but why.
John Burns photo
John Burns
Chief Executive Officer
As CEO, John grows, leads, and supports a team of passionate, articulate, likable, and smart experts. Together, we solve today so our clients can navigate to tomorrow.

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