Technology

Oculus Rift could change the future of home sales

Imagine an Amazon for real estate

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I saw Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff  playing with some Oculus Rift goggles a few weeks ago. It reminded me what the future might look like.

Imagine an Amazon for your home, if you will. Right now, people who buy a home spend money after the purchase by showing up at their local Home Depot or Ikea. There has yet to emerge a dominant replacement for the experience of actually shopping at a real store, to see the stuff you want in person, at least as it relates to housing.

Back to those Oculus Rift goggles.

And (let’s say it’s five years from now) everyone has Oculus Rift goggles at home now. So I, the buyer, walk into my new vacant home with my goggles on. What do I see? Well, without the goggles, I see nothing, it’s vacant (remember?).

But with the goggles, it makes it really easy to decorate my new digs. We already have our couch, so let me take a picture of that with the goggles, then place it in my virtual space against the wall. Yeah, that looks great. But you know what, it doesn’t match the paint job. A couple of clicks and I realize that for about $60 in paint and supplies, I can have the exact color I want to get all of the walls painted in the living room. I’ll go ahead and order that from  Sherman Williams. And I don’t feel like painting, so I’ll pick a painter to come paint my walls.

So I have my walls painted (at least in my virtual reality living room). And my couch now looks great. But we need new tables. One coffee table and two end tables should do. Let’s pull up the inventory on the Occulus Rift app. I see stuff from Ikea first, but I can search inventory from any place that wants to do business with the largest seller of home improvement, furniture and home decor items in the world. I finally settle on a great three-piece table set from Pottery Barn. I know it’s a perfect fit because I can place it right next to my couch on the app and see it with the goggles.

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Do I have to head to Pottery Barn to buy it? Of course not: It’s 2018, and I can just purchase right from the app. And again, I know it looks amazing, because I’m staring at it right now.

Need a matching lamp? Done.

Need new flooring? Done.

New cabinets for the kitchen? Check

New fridge … shoot, that one won’t fit the space I have, but this one will! Purchase.

Imagine a world where I can sit on my couch and redecorate my living room. You can make that happen. And then imagine a world where every purchase for my newly designed living room can happen virtually.

The home improvement market is expected to be a $325 billion dollar market in 2014.

It’s a marketplace. It’s virtual reality. It’s what I wish I had access to right now as I think about what painting I want in the hall.