KB Home (NYSE: KBH), one of the largest and most recognized homebuilders in the U.S., recently unveiled the first virtual new-home community in the metaverse. With much buzz being generated surrounding the new virtual world and its implications on architecture and building in general, this marks the first time a major homebuilder has dipped its toes into the tech.
In a press release, KB Home states it is hoping to use the new avenue to connect with next generation of homebuyers and inspire them in innovative ways. For this venture, KB Home selected the popular Decentraland platform as the host space for its properties.
KB Home partnered with The Metaverse Group, a subsidiary of Tokens.com, to design and build its Decentraland community. The company selected Decentraland, a 3D browser-based platform and the first fully decentralized virtual world in the metaverse, as the site of its virtual community because of the platform’s broad accessibility and ease of use.
In a way, it functions very similar to a virtual tour of a home, albeit it a greater batch of functionalities provided by the Decentraland platform. Firstly, the tour is fully 3D, allowing guests and prospective buyers to tour three completely modeled homes and engage with a variety of interactive features. In addition, a virtual host will be present for educational purposes.
Afterwards, prospective homebuyers are able to follow up on their journey back in the physical world.
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The virtual new-home community features advanced technology so visitors can discover some of the many design choices to personalize a KB Home. Visitors can select between contemporary, Spanish, farmhouse and craftsman architecture. When touring the interiors, visitors can also customize flooring, cabinets, countertops, faucets, tile and lighting.
When I asked if visitors could view homes with any added technology KB Home may offer, I was told the current iteration focuses mainly on the design and architectural options on offer, as that is what homeowners most commonly like to customize. Either way, the idea of being able to create a virtual showroom to show off options and functionality in a build using a pre-established platform is one of the better uses I’ve seen of the metaverse yet and could even be something that may be of use to integrators with their own showrooms.
To note, whereas previous conversations surrounding the metaverse have talked about the sale of virtual land, KB Home is using it exclusively as an analog for touring its homes. Visiting and touring the community is completely free and there is no sign-up required. In fact, it’s easily accessible through a computer browser.
“KB Home has a long-standing history of groundbreaking innovation. Today, we’re creating opportunities with an eye toward the future, so next-gen homebuyers can experience a new KB Home community virtually,” said Jeffrey Mezger, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of KB Home.
“We know consumers are increasingly immersing themselves and spending more time in virtual spaces. KB Home’s metaverse community is all about discovery and creation and provides a captivating setting for homebuyers to explore what truly sets us apart – innovative design, personalization and partnership.”
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