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How Vrban is a legitimate game changer for business

May 8, 2014
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oculus rift1 How Vrban is a legitimate game changer for business

Vrban wins big at Hackathon

Each year, TechCrunch hosts a Hackathon contest bringing together hackers and developers from all over the world wherein teams join together to create a product in 24 hours. The winner of this year’s Hackathon is Vrban, which allows users to explore urban environments using the Oculus Rift.

It is particularly useful for seeing what a proposed building would look like in a particular urban environment. You can vary settings such as sunlight, point of view, and location. This allows the user to use the Oculus to observe the impact of different decisions in an urban plan, while his or her teammates collaboratively work on the plan by tweaking settings.

While this may not be directly useful for residential Realtors, commercial and residential developers may find it extremely useful. By having the ability to see the impact of sunlight and location when developing a blueprint, creating exactly what you envision has never been easier.



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Vrban came to be through the developer’s own experience at Columbia University. While in attendance, Columbia erected a new building, which upon completion obstructed the view for the science observatory. Vrban (think virtual + urban) was the answer. The breakthrough use of the Oculus Rift is just a taste of what is to come for this technology.

If you are not familiar with it, Oculus Rift is a new virtual reality headset that lets you step inside favorite games and virtual worlds. The Oculus Rift provides approximately 100° field of view, stretching the virtual world beyond your peripheral vision. The combination of the wide field of view with head-tracking and stereoscopic 3D creates an immersive virtual reality experience.

Vrban is just a glimpse into the type of virtual technologies that will one day make their way into the world, particularly in the real estate market. Think about 3D virtual tours for your MLS listings, that do not just show the room, but rather, immerse your client in the environment before they ever step foot in the house. It could also lead to better home inspections, more effective construction, and less time spent scheduling showings for clients. The possibilities with the Oculus Rift technology are seemingly endless, and Vrban is a great first step.

Jennifer Walpole is a staff writer for AGBeat and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.