VR and Investment – An Exciting Sub-category of Fintech

  • Investment
  • 14.10.2020 04:13 pm

There are many different arms of fintech being developed specifically for businesses and investment companies, but virtual reality is something that has existed for a while in different formats, and is being adopted into the investment space through innovate software. Interested to find out more? Here’s some key information about virtual reality currently, and how it ties in successfully with the property investment world.

Origins of VR

Virtual reality has always been a dream for many, existing alongside the flying car in science fiction for decades at this point, but only in the past few years has the technology become an achievable, mainstream product. With the Facebook-owned Oculus pioneering a new era of headsets that solved issues from screen resolution to head tracking and motion sickness, VR is increasingly moving out of its niche origins in video games, and into aspects of everything from fintech, to training for surgeons and even space exploration.

Interested in the technology itself? Here are some of the current consumer grade options on the market:

  • Phone-based virtual reality – The cheapest and most accessible version of VR that you can get your hands on at the moment is mobile-phone based, using the high-quality panel that you carry around in your pocket at all times and simply building a shell around it that you can slip your phone in and out of when you want to experience VR. This is the best option for those that want to demonstrate the technology without investing a serious amount of money, and you can even craft a makeshift headset out of cardboard if you just want to get a taste for what it’s all about. Of course, you’re not going to get the full experience this way, but it’s a good starting point.
  • High end VR rigs – Some of the more high-fidelity VR headsets can be costly, at least on a consumer level, and can also require a good spec PC rig and some setup to get working. Products like the Valve Index and Oculus’ flagship Rift S headset are currently some of the industry-leading trendsetters.
  • Cord cutting alternatives – The form of VR that will likely be the most mainstream in the years to come is cord-free headsets and controllers, that don’t need external devices/PCs to run and can be simply set up by anyone that wants to experience escapism. Oculus have recently released their ‘Quest 2’ headset, a brilliant middle ground between affordability and quality that will almost certainly be adopted by those wanting to integrate simple VR tools into their work.

The ‘virtual viewing’ process

An efficient and cost-effective solution for foreign investors looking to view a property in the UK without having to travel all the way there, property investment company RWinvest are one of the few pioneering the ‘virtual viewing’ process in VR. Alongside doing screenshares with clients, showing them infographics of the area they’re interested in, statistics, and projections over video call, investment consultants are able to use virtual reality headsets in order to give remote investors an immersive, realistic view of what their property will look like from the inside out. Not only is this ideal for those that struggle to visualise blueprints and floor plans, but with many of the best property developments nowadays being off-plan (meaning they’re still in their construction phases), VR gives a window into the future.

No headset? No problem. The term virtual reality doesn’t necessarily refer to the headset and goggles. Many of the CGIs and immersive 3D builds are available as compact, transferrable files that can also be viewed through a smartphone, using the gyroscope to allow the user to move their phone around and explore in a virtual space.

Socially-distant investing – Of course, prior to the pandemic, the primary use for this ‘virtual viewing’ technology was to appeal to international investors, giving them the opportunity to look at a development they’re interested in from afar. However, it has also proven to be an invaluable tool over the past few months, with the ongoing pandemic restricted many people around the world from travelling to visit prospective investment sites. Despite uncertainty from some entrepreneurs and investors due to the pandemic, the property market in the UK is continuing to thrive, and so this fintech innovation will continue to be relied upon and innovated upon.

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