Virtual reality show suites at Keppel project

At the sales gallery for Highline Residences, visitors can don an Oculus Rift headset and experience 360-degree immersive virtual reality show suites.
At the sales gallery for Highline Residences, visitors can don an Oculus Rift headset and experience 360-degree immersive virtual reality show suites.PHOTO: KEPPEL LAND

Developer Keppel Land is using cutting-edge virtual reality to help buyers get a better impression of new apartments going on sale at its 500-unit Highline Residences in Kim Tian Road this weekend.

Keppel said yesterday the units to be launched are in the low-rise block, comprising 24 three-bedders and eight four-bedroom units.

Home hunters visiting the sales gallery - next to the development site - will experience 360-degree immersive virtual reality show suites, created by Keppel and technology partner VMW Group.

It will make use of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

"Our agents have been telling us that without a show suite it is very difficult for them to get prospects to try to imagine this space because the layout is very different from the physical show suites that we have," said Mr Albert Foo, general manager of marketing at Keppel Land.

The sales gallery, which opened about two years ago, has three physical show suites, depicting one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

Mr Foo said the virtual show suites will showcase the layout of a three-bedder in the low-rise block, and a four-bedroom apartment. Visitors can also take a virtual tour of amenities near the project in the heritage Tiong Bahru district.

Keppel said average pricing for the units at the low-rise block ranges from $1,700 to $1,800 per sq ft (psf) for the three-bedders (1,130 sq ft to 1,206 sq ft), and $1,800 to $1,900 psf for the four-bedders (1,227 sq ft).

Highline Residences, a 99-year leasehold project, was launched for sale in April. As at the end of last month, 283 units - or 88 per cent - of the 320 units launched had been sold, fetching an average price of $1,900 psf. Keppel did not indicate how many units it plans to launch this weekend. Buyers will continue to enjoy a discount of 23 per cent from the units' list prices, it said.

Mr Foo told a briefing yesterday that a benefit of the virtual reality show suites is that they are "portable" and can be used at roadshows in malls or overseas to attract buyers. He added that it is more efficient than building new show suites which could take months to construct and cost about $1 million.

Mr Lee Hon Kit, VMW executive director, said: "We took about two months to work on the virtual show suites... and it cost about $250,000, including the hardware."

The collaboration between Keppel and VMW dates back a decade, and they have worked on the developer's earlier projects such as Caribbean at Keppel Bay.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2016, with the headline 'Virtual reality show suites at Keppel project'. Print Edition | Subscribe