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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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VR Startup woobaVR makes physical showrooms defunct

They use virtual reality to for a complete visualisation of properties.

This Singaporean VR start up helped a Malaysian property development firm to sell 92% of its units through a virtual reality showroom. Berhad Dato’ Ghazi, CEO of Malaysian property development firm Thriven, challenged the team behind woobaVR: they had to help Thriven sell 10-15% of its new development at 1% of the physical gallery cost.

woobaVR did far more than that, eventually devising a virtual reality showroom solution that would enable Thriven to sell 92% of units without having to build an expensive physical show
unit. Fariz Rashid, CEO at woobaVR, explained that for the longest time, people have relied on showrooms, pre-rendered images, and physical models to assess whether they would purchase property or not. “We look at an artist’s impression or visit a showroom and then try to imagine ourselves living there,” said Rashid of the traditional experience without virtual reality.

“Now technology helps to fill this gap, especially for those with a lack of visual imagination. Virtual reality and augmented reality helps buyers and sellers have a new way to pre-experience a space they may want to own or sell,” said Rashid.

He argued that virtual reality renders represent the home more accurately than a still image, and the technology provides home-buyers with added customisation and convenience.

“Outside of a showroom as well we have the additional functionality of adjusting the themes and overall interior design environment of the property. Certain showroom designs may appeal to certain buyers and that can be deceptive in nature,” he said. “The mobile functionality as well allows them to view the unit at their own convenience as well as share it with other members of the family,” he added.

A new standard for visualisation
Rashid also noted details on two of its products in the pipeline. The first is an automated virtual reality rendering platform for architects and interior designers,
which will be a SaaS model. It is currently in alpha testing stage and the startup is targeting a launch in the first quarter next year.

The second is a model for companies to showcase their home furnishings, with a live demo already available for limited viewing. The startup manages to keep prices at a fraction of an interior design or architectural firm’s rendering budget through the use of proprietary automated systems.

Rashid was determined to dispel the notion that virtual reality is an expensive technology that only big firms can afford. “You won’t need a high-end PC or expensive head mounted displays like the Oculus Rift to run our content,” said Rashid.

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