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INDUSTRY NEWS 15


Virtual reality breaks new ground in housing


The latest virtual reality design software from Virtual Worlds has been launched, allowing what is claimed by its developers to be an ‘unprecedented’ level of spatial awareness and immersion to housebuilders and buyers.


In contrast to previous iterations of the software, 4D Theatre doesn’t require a controller, allowing customers to walk around their ‘dream’ kitchen, bedroom or bathroom freely via a specially designed headset.


The headset tracks a users body and hand movements, relaying them onto the screen, “making customers feel like they have jumped in to the room created by the designer.”


Products from more than 100 manufacturers are represented within the system, increasing the level of immersion and allowing users to do anything from stepping inside a shower to opening up a cabinet drawer, by physically “walking over and touching them.”


Consumers and developers can freely


move around the room using the headset, giving them a platform to experience the full potential of the space and experiment with a range of configurations, quickly and easily.


Nathan Maclean, managing director and


Virtual Worlds, commented on the launch: “Our software is all about providing customers with peace of mind, giving them the information at their fingertips to ensure they have an informed decision through the design process.”


‘Homes down the track’


The London Assembly Housing Committee has released a report which looks at the scope of Transport for London (TfL) to develop homes. The report ‘Homes down the track – a


marathon and a sprint for TfL’ makes a number of recommendations to TfL, the Mayor, and their partners. TfL, like most other public landowners, is


not currently a property developer. This is brought to attention by the report, which says that going that route will mean time and money, and implies organisational change with long-lasting consequences. The London Assembly warned that


delivering affordable homes on expensive sites requires significant subsidy, adding that many TfL sites are in inner London, so the opportunity costs could prove substantial. It urged small developers to get back to building homes, rather than ‘just loft extensions and conservatories’. The report suggested TfL needs to work closely with the boroughs, as planning authorities, to shoulder some of the extra costs.


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