3-D technology enables prospective home buyers to take virtual tours of a property before it is constructed, giving them confidence before they sign on the dotted line. Sharon Reich reports.
Yuka and Noriyuki Asahi are preparing to build their dream home. But before the Tokyo-based couple take on a mortgage and large construction project, they want to get a better feel for the house. So they've turned to "TRY IE LAB," where they're getting a virtual tour of their home using a 3-D Home simulator. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) PROSPECTIVE HOME BUYER, NORIYUKI ASAHI, SAYING: "To be honest, this is our first and last biggest purchase, so we want to be satisfied with no regrets… I didn't want to be disappointed after we get the house." The director of the simulation facility says the company designed the lab so homeowners wouldn't have to take on such a large commitment blindly. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) "TRY IE LAB" DIRECTOR, YURI TAKASE, SAYING: "We always try on clothes or cars before purchasing them. Yet when it comes to houses, even though a house is a very expensive purchase, we never try them on. We, at Daiwa House, have created this "TRY IE LAB" facility to give customers that very experience." With a green screen room, 3D glasses and computerized rendition of the house, the couple can see how high the ceilings are, where the furniture can be placed and even how much sunlight comes in through the windows. All a relief for Yuka Ashai, who says that just having blueprints can be nervewracking. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) PROSPECTIVE HOME BUYER, YUKA ASAHI, SAYING: "With only the blue print design, I couldn't get a good visual grasp of our house. I had looked around other homes and imagined ours. But now, with this, I feel that I've been able to get down to the details. It was nice to see 3-D visual images of the bathroom, the staircase and the storage room -- places that are quite difficult to imagine." Having completed their virtual survey and tweaked their plans, the Asahis are confident they're creating the perfect home.