There are two basic types of virtual reality experiences: ones that feature full freedom of movement and ones that offers a move limited range of movement. While the first one sounds better, it's really more suited to computer gaming than high-end virtual reality home tours. Let me explain why...

In a fully interactive VR experience, the movement of the VR headset is tracked and responds to all of your motions. For example, if you move your head left to right, your view within the virtual space moves to match your motions. This is very cool, but this can lead to motion sickness for many users.

Samsung's Really drives home the idea that fully interactive VR connects with emotions.

In a VR guided tour, you don't have that same freedom of movement. You move through the space in a pre-determined path, much like a physical home tour. Your salesperson might want you to see the great view of the lake from the panoramic picture windows and then turn to show you how the living room flows into the kitchen. That control is a really good thing when it comes to marketing and selling high-end homes. In a guided VR tour, you can still “look around” in the space. It's just more controlled and smoother that it would be in a 3D game.

Another big difference between a fully interactive VR experience and a guided tour is the quality of the details. In a fully interactive experience a computer is creating the space in real time, which requires a TON of computing power, and expensive, specialized hardware. It also means that you have to make some compromises in how realistic environments or rooms actually appear. In a fast moving gaming experience, this works just fine.

In a guided VR tour, you're able to create a completely photorealistic experience because the scene is not built in real time. Instead it is created and rendered ahead of time using powerful computers that can take days to render a single VR tour. This is how extremely realistic visual experiences are created for users.

That's really the point; the user experience of your 3D VR tour. Is it a pleasant, no-stress, emotionally powerful experience from beginning to end? Is is hyper realistic? It needs to be both of these things in order to move your buyers closer to falling in love with a home!

In the next chapter, you'll learn why a great user experience is important for your 3D renderings and tours to really work for you.

Next Chapter: The user experience of your 3D rendering artist

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So what opportunities does VR present to luxury brands? Well, so far innovation in the field has been limited. Both Christian Dior and Tommy Hilfiger have dabbled, with the aim of giving their customers an extra incentive to visit their stores...

So Dior developed Dior Eyes – it’s very own VR headset with built-in 3D sounds – and launched it in-stores last June with content that allowed viewers to explore behind the scenes at their ready-to-wear fashion shows.

Should ‘v-commerce’ take off, it will enable luxury brands to widen their distribution without the need to necessarily invest in expensive store networks. Of course, much of the potential of VR for luxury brands relies on greater penetration of VR technology and apps but here luxury brands have a distinct advantage over mass market offerings – luxury consumers have the money to invest, and are enthusiastic adopters of new tech.
— Wayne Fletcher, Luxury Society