The Sims was a popular game for a generation obsessed with building lavish homes, becoming their very own interior designer and living life out online. But a new report indicates that buying a home in real life may not be too different in the future.
The report suggests that by 2025, property viewings will be technologically advanced, with virtual tours and augmented reality that allows buyers to virtually redecorate a room while standing in it.
The study, commissioned by easyProperty and The Future Laboratory, explores the transformation that the property market will undergo in the next few years.
It predicts that by 2025, the process of buying a property will be much more like playing a game than it is today.
For instance, location is often the number one priority for homebuyers. In the future, drone technology is expected to enable buyers to scout out their potential neighbourhoods before committing to a property purchase.
The report explains: “As drone technology becomes more affordable, we imagine potential house hunters will cotton on to its use for conducting those vital pre-purchase searches – to find out whether the neighbours throw loud parties every weekend, how noisy the traffic is at key points throughout the day, and other information not easily available from an inspection of the house, but vital to long-term happiness.”
How Futuristic Technology Will Change Property Viewings
House hunters will also be able to explore their prospective neighbourhoods using augmented reality technology, by linking their mobile devices to beacon technology.
This will make the process of wandering around a neighbourhood more informative and will include hovering your mouse on buildings to find out what they are.
The report continues: “By linking a buyer’s mobile device to digital beacons that will, by then, be embedded in practically every building and business, property service brands will be able to create neighbourhood cyber-safaris that lead buyers to sites of personal interest in an unfamiliar area.”
The head of technology research firm Enders Analysis, Douglas McCabe, explains: “Beacons will allow estate agencies in the future to turn exploring a strange new area into an entertaining game, a bit like an online game, translated into the real world.
“Deciding to move to a new neighbourhood often relied on a leap of the imagination by buyers. They need to understand that this is a place full of possibilities that will appeal to them on a very personal level. Gamified tours will help them do that.”1
Once a buyer has found the perfect property in the perfect neighbourhood, how do they ensure the interior design and layout of the home is perfect?
At present, house hunters rely on their imagination to determine what each room would look like with their decoration and belongings.
But in the future, this process will be much easier with technology that allows buyers to virtually redecorate the rooms they are in using smartphones and tablets.
The report says: “Buyers will use a new generation of heads-up display (HUD) glasses – more advanced and user friendly future versions of Google Glass – to carry out virtual refits as they stage physical viewings of the two or three homes on their final shortlist.”1
Technology could also allow buyers to have a complete virtual tour of a property without having to travel.
But while all of this might sound like the stuff of science fiction, it is not far away.
Matt Ratcliffe, the co-founder of creative studio Masters of Pie, explains: “We’ve been working on showrooms that have virtual reality headsets that enable buyers in China to virtually and realistically sit in the rooms of the beautiful penthouses in London they are about to spend millions on.
“But by 2025, the experience offered by this technology will have become so convincing that it will be difficult to tell the difference between reality and virtual reality – and it will have moved from the luxury sector into the mass market.”1
If you’re already looking for ways to enhance your property search with technology, why not try this app?
Can you imagine buying a home or buy-to-let property using virtual reality? It may be just around the corner!