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The VuPOD Real Estate Immersion Room


November 12, 2006

An artist's impression of the VuPod

An artist's impression of the VuPod

Image Gallery (3 images)

November 13, 2006 Anyone who has ever spent the weekend driving in endless circles attending “open for inspection” realty will understand the appeal of the newly announced VuPOD Real Estate immersion room. With the VuPOD immersion room, home shoppers are “surrounded by a 360-degree image projected on the walls around them”, so they can quickly view numerous prospective homes and sort out those worth actually visiting, cutting out all the travel time. Announced this week, the VuPOD will be available for everyone to see some time next year but if it does what is claimed, it will be a fantastic tool for the cash-rich-time poor home buyer and a killer app for those realtors who invest in the technology. The publicity claims it is “nothing like the virtual tours on the market today” and it wouldn’t want to be because in the main, they don’t have sufficient resolution/detail to do the job. The success of this project will depend on the quality of the VR and the playback device and the price (to the realtor) and maybe, just maybe, they’ll get the price/convenience factor just right and have a massive hit.

We must admit to being quite bullish about the prospects of this one, because although we think that using a Trimersion HMD or almost any other HMD with something like the VirtuSphere would offer a more realistic immersive environment, the system appears to use eight hi-res rear projectors to achieve its realism and could be very good indeed - see image library. Similarly, we’re prepared to suspend disbelief despite some of the the claims having a distinctly over-the-top-salesspeak ring to them, such as VuPOD Co-Inventor Sean Lee’s statement, “Buyers can literally be teleported to prospective properties.” Unless there’s been a significant breakthrough we’re not aware of, that’s err … not true.

As the PR blurb says, “any home for sale can be imaged and viewed on the VuPOD, arming buyers with data such as floor plans, exposures, and 360 degree images of every liveable area.”

The VuPOD is the product of REdi, a Phoenix-based Research and Design company devoted to product development in the Real Estate industry. REdi will be releasing the VuPOD via Valley National Realty in Phoenix for market testing, with a national release to follow in early 2007. No details of the technologies to be used have yet been disclosed so we may be frightfully wrong – stay tuned.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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