We are always fascinated by new developments in the world of virtual reality. So much of the news we hear sparks off our imaginations, thinking about the possibilities for how all this emerging technology could impact the world of virtual tours of homes.

One such story this week has caught our eye. Manus VR have launched a hand-tracked controller, which essentially means that you can now have your hands and fingers tracked in virtual reality. It allows participants to be a lot more expressive with their movements, and will increase the perception of embodied presence within the virtual landscape being experienced.

Similar to existing technology from Leap Motion, which – along with its VR capabilities – can be used direct from PC or Mac, Manus VR unleashes a range of fresh possibilities for virtual interaction. However, unlike Leap Motion, Manus VR frees users from the limitations of keeping one’s hands within their field of view.

At present, there are still some teething issues being reported, like a delay in latency of finger movements, which they can achieve under lab conditions, but are still having some problems with in other settings. Mind you, it’s early days, so we can expect this sort of thing to be ironed out over the next iterations.

A recent press release by Manus VR has announced that their gloves are now being used in experiments for the training of NASA astronauts in mixed reality settings, preparing them for the International Space Station.

Well, this is all super, but what does it have to do with real estate? The answer is, not much at present. Nonetheless, we can see the potential.

The Potential Implications for Virtual Tours of Homes

What if further developments in hand-tracked VR control could actually replicate sensations of touch: pressure, texture, resistance, and so on? This could deepen the experience of virtual walkthroughs of homes, allowing potential buyers an even more immersive experience of the property they’re viewing.

Imagine being able to feel the texture of the walls, to open and close doors and cupboards (testing their performance, as property viewers tend to do), as well as interact with fixtures and fittings at their leisure whilst in the midst of a self-governed viewing.

Where virtual tours of homes are combined with the marketing of furniture products and other interior design features, touch could play a key part in securing sales.

Of course, for now this is all speculation. Though there is such technology in the pipeline, that promises to add these deeper sensory elements to the virtual reality experience, we’ve yet to see its applications within the PropTech sphere. We are, nonetheless, excited to see where hand-tracking in VR goes next – how deeply immersive could virtual tours of homes really get? The future will tell.