Navigating a Virtual World

Back to more regular blogging today. I hope to resurrect the Real Estate 2.0 Market Leader interviews again in the future, as more sites catch my eye.

I’ve mentioned before how I think Google, with its incredibly powerful Google Earth software, is rapidly developing a complete virtual representation of our offline world. I believe developments like this in three-dimensional geo-mapping are eventually going to have a big impact in the real estate space; combined with the immense data aggregation power of the Internet, 3D worlds are going to change how we shop for homes in the future.

That’s not to say that we won’t get in our vehicles and drive over to see a property first hand. Of course we will. But an immersive 3D experience could eventually allow us to be far more informed and selective about which properties we choose to take the time to view.

Part of the problem right now though, is the current method of interfacing with a virtual world. I think think this is one thing holding it back from wider mainstream adoption – as it still requires sitting round a computer and using a mouse. Not the most engaging method of interaction, especially in a group setting.

wpea.jpg

But, check out this video from Edward Tse of the University of Calgary as he does his best impersonation of Tom Cruise in Minority Report:


(Problems viewing video? Link to Google Video page)

This is a radical step forward in how we can interact with a 3D environment. You can already import the filtered results from a search aggregator like Propsmart.com into Google Earth – where you can create a true virtual tour of your chosen homes and explore them, by flying in, out and over them in real time. With a table similar to this one, you could share that tour with clients, friends or family in a much more meaningful fashion.

It’s only a matter of time.

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Hat tip: Greg Sterling’s Screenwerk