Contact Us

How Virtual Reality Will Shape Real Estate, Planning And Sustainability

Dreamscape Global’s Sheridan Tatsuno is working on the next big thing: Virtual reality as it applies to critical issues of city planning and sustainability. Sheridan works with Virtual Oresund, a VR platform that provides essential city planning and design tools for real estate professionals and planners. Bisnow spoke with him about the promise of VR and how it can change real estate.


Bisnow: What is your company and where do you focus?

Sheridan Tatsuno: Virtual Oresund (VO) is a VR platform for sustainable city planning and design, which will soft launch in May with a fly-through of Copenhagen and Malmo, two of the world's leading sustainable cities. Our mission is to provide a VR Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) with open APIs for VR, augmented reality and data analytics tools so cities, architects, engineers, construction (AEC) and others can build virtual sustainable cities.

Bisnow: When did you first realize VR was significant for business and real estate?

Sheridan Tatsuno: Leading architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) companies—an $8.5 trillion industry (more than 10% of the global economy)—already use VR for planning and design since it's cheaper, faster and better than older 3D CAD tools.

A S.F. Bay Area company showed me a walk-through of the upcoming Kaiser Hospital in Oakland using my Google Cardboard, which was very realistic and useful.

Two startups—in Berkeley, CA, and Gothenburg, Sweden—sell VR drones that automatically plot flight maps for shooting building exteriors, with software that automatically stitches the images together, so 3D/VR buildings can be captured in hours cheaply.

Bisnow: How does VR make the work of real estate professionals easier?

Sheridan Tatsuno: VR is being used for urban planning, architecture design, client reviews and feedback, public demos and marketing/sales promotion. Sweco in Sweden uses it for its major projects worldwide, so they can walk through projects via 3D/VR conferencing in real time with clients and teams around the world, which saves travel costs and money.

Bisnow: Facebook has big ambitions for its Oculus Rift. What are some things you've heard from them or others recently that really excite you?

Sheridan Tatsuno: My guess is that Mark Zuckerberg will probably have Chinese manufacturers produce the Oculus Rift cheaply in volume so it's affordable to most consumers, then the VR market will take off and Facebook can monetize it on its site. All the big players—Apple, Google, etc.—want to monetize VR shopping. PayPal is hiring VR developers to roll out soon.

Bisnow: What are some of the big trends in VR and real estate technology you’re looking forward to?

Sheridan Tatsuno: VR is basically the shift from 2D to 3D Internet. The big difference is that it's immersive, so it's much more realistic, compelling, empathetic and engaging. For first-timers, it's a "wow" experience that hooks them. But dizziness, overuse and other problems will emerge, so vendors will have to develop solutions.