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3-D Games and Social Networks Are Coming. 3-D Condos Are Here Now.

The tech that powers Oculus Rift isn't mainstream yet, but if you're looking at a new condo or office, you may have already seen it.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Immersive 3-D worlds could be a big deal in the future, which is why Facebook was willing to bet $2 billion on Oculus Rift this year: Imagine the possibilities for games, entertainment, social networking, messaging, etc.

But you don’t have to time travel to see the way 3-D can have an impact. You just have to know where to look today.

One place to start might be a real estate developer’s office or showroom. That’s where Floored, a New York-based startup, is finding a receptive audience for its 3-D constructions, which can give prospective buyers a virtual walkthrough of a building that doesn’t exist yet.

If you really want to see the best possible version of Floored’s work, you can strap on an Oculus and walk through the Hudson Yards project that developer Related Companies plans on building on Manhattan’s West Side. But you can get a sense of it below, via a mockup of some “microapartments” Panoramic Interests is building in San Francisco.

This ought to work best on your laptop, though results will vary depending on your machine’s age and graphics horsepower. It may also work on your phone, though you won’t get the full effect:

Floored CEO David Eisenberg says he can make these 3-D worlds, based on architects’ CAD models, for anywhere from 50 cents to $5 per square foot. The next step is to get cheaper and more flexible; he’s working on tech that will allow his company to create 3-D using simple floor plans and photos.

Eisenberg founded Floored two years ago, after working in early roles at e-commerce startup Bonobos and ad tech startup TellApart. Now he says he’s approaching profitability on revenue in the “single-digit millions.”

Like many tech startups, he’d like to be more of a software business, but for now he’s much more of a service company, building these things out to spec. But if 3-D gets mainstream fast, it’s not hard to sketch out scenarios where he finds a much bigger market for his creations.

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