Israeli company promises to revolutionize real-estate with virtual-reality technology

Clients can ‘walk around’ inside apartments without leaving their home.

Villa reconstructed in VR by Metanoia (photo credit: COURTESY OF METANOIA INTERACTIVE)
Villa reconstructed in VR by Metanoia
Bnei Brak-based Metanoia Interactive is the first, and so far only, company that brings cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) technologies into the Israeli real-estate market, helping consumers and corporate clients experience home purchasing and design in new ways, while also helping them save money.
“For the last two years we have finished developing this tool which allows you to develop your real estate through virtual reality,” Metanoia’s founder and CEO Michael S. Reznik told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Monday. “For the big real-estate companies this is a great tool also for marketing purposes, and for private consumers this will save valuable hours and cut expenses – replacing the need to travel around the country looking for the right furniture and decor.”
Metanoia’s technology creates a lifelike 3D simulation of a client’s home or property, and through its VR platform it allows the client to walk around inside it, using VR goggles, so that the viewer does not have to leave the office. Inside the VR simulation a client is then able to design and decorate the property choosing tiles, bricks, furniture and more.
“In the past, if you wanted to pick a tile for your apartment’s floor, you had to go to a store or get the measurements and go back to the property and try it out,” Reznik said. “If you wanted new living room furniture, an interior designer will show you photos, at best superimposed on another photo.
“Now a client can come to our offices and sit with our interior designer who shows him right there and then all the design options he wants, which floor, which kitchen, what furniture, and the client can test these in real time and see what his place will actually look like.”
Just like any interior design firm or architect in Israel, Metanoia has partnerships with many home design retailers whose various products are scanned into the VR program. Moreover, the company’s commercial website – to be launched next week – will also allow clients to pick one of seven stylistic themes that will focus the design process.
“A client who chooses to design his property in a rural style will not have to sift through items from the hi-tech style,” Reznik said. “In this way, the dozens of optional kitchens and tiles presented will all be tailored to his or her tastes.”
According to Reznik, who previously worked as a consultant for Construction Minister Yoav Galant, the real-estate market in Israel needs to be revolutionized, especially for private consumers.
At first he intended Metanoia to be marketed solely as an aid to real-estate developers. However, after encountering many private consumers who could have utilized his technology to save money, he began tweaking the company to also accommodate individual clients.
In the short time that Metanoia has expanded its technology, the company has already piqued the curiosity of some of Israel’s largest and most notable real-estate and construction companies; they see this innovation as a game-changer and as a good marketing tool.
“It started when I was on a tour of the town of Harish with Minister Galant,” Reznik said. “All we saw was sand and undeveloped property, and it didn’t matter how much high-ranking officials described what was to be built there. It was impossible to visualize and believe in an end project until you can see it with your own eyes.”
Following that experience, he met and assembled a team of experts in the fields of technology, design, real estate and marketing.
Using EpicGames’s Unreal Engine, Metanoia’s coders turned a cutting-edge 3D imaging tool from the most advanced developments in the world of gaming into a product for the real-estate world.
“For the first time we give clients the ability to see their future homes before they are constructed or refurbished, saving them from possible mistakes,” Reznik said.
Now, Metanoia is not only a pioneer in Israel but also in the forefront of its field globally. As to date only two other companies offer similar services – one in Taiwan and another in the United Kingdom.