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Virtual / Augmented Reality in Housing and Real Estate To Be Explored

Imagine strolling past the handpicked furniture, elegant kitchenware, and artful accessories of your dream home — before that home is even built.
Virtual reality and augmented reality have emerged as valuable tools in the housing industry, said Kelly Avery, a property management professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management.

Increasingly, property managers and real estate developers are using those technologies to market properties. With the help of virtual reality headsets, buyers and renters can walk through unbuilt homes designed to fit their needs.

“At Virginia Tech, we’re focusing on how the fields of property management and real estate are changing with this technology,” said Avery. “Students are learning how to use virtual and augmented reality in future careers.”

As part of its new Inclusive Communities for Diverse Consumers lecture series, the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management will host experts on virtual and augmented reality on Feb. 20 and March 3. The event series, titled Virtual Environments in Housing Studies, is open to the public.

“Anyone interested in virtual and augmented reality, design, real estate, or marketing can benefit from attending these events,” said Avery.

Andrew Park, an associate professor of computing science at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, will serve as the keynote speaker on Feb. 20 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Fralin Life Sciences Institute auditorium at 1015 Life Science Circle.

Park is a national member of the Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies and the International Cyber Crime Research on Terrorism, Security, and Society. He has collaborated in research projects with Eunju Hwang, an associate professor in the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management. In his presentation, titled “Virtual Environments in Housing Studies,” Park will demonstrate how virtual environments are used in housing research.

David Gull, chief executive officer of Outer Realm, a virtual reality–based company in Marina Del Rey, Calif., will speak on March 3 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 2150 Torgerson Hall.

As an architect and expert in design, Gull focuses on creating virtual and augmented reality experiences that combine consumer intuition with factual presentations. In his talk, titled “Property Presentations Rebuilt by Spatial Computing,” Gull will detail a platform shift in the real estate industry from two-dimensional screens to immersive spatial computing.

For more information about the events, email Kelly Avery at [email protected] or Eunju Hwang at [email protected].

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