Toll Brothers launches kitchen VR app for luxury home buyers


American luxury home builder Toll Brothers has launched a virtual reality app that lets home buyers view all 360 degrees of their kitchen in high-definition and choose from thousands of configurations.

The app, called Kitchen 360, provides buyers with a tour of the kitchen through a connected tablet or HTC Vive VR. While on the tour, buyers can look at different configurations, swapping out appliances, changing colours and prefered models — all changes take effect in real time.

See Also: How universities are defining the future of VR

Toll Brothers has partnered with Marxent, an augmented and virtual reality solutions company, specializing in commerce. The company has developed apps for Lowe’s and American Woodmark.

“Until now, the personalization process of buying a new home posed a challenge for home buyers to visualize their combination of selected materials using small material samples,” said Mark Bailey, President of Toll Brothers Colorado Division.

“The Kitchen 360 experience enhances a home buyer’s ability to visualize their space with a level of quality that has never been available before. Using this VR technology in combination with the look and feel of those material samples, the buyer has a more complete idea of their vision. They get the chance to actually step inside the space they’ve created, and preview how that space will work for their everyday lives.”

Customization will be limited to Toll Brothers Englewood Design Studio, where representatives will help plan out configurations in real-time. There are 420 configurations at launch.

The app is similar to IKEA’s new AR app launching on iOS 11, which allows customers to fit furniture into their home, using defined parameters. The difference here is the customer is buying the entire kitchen.

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Report Shows IoT M&A Values Boosted by Telecoms Buyers

Report Shows IoT M&A Values Boosted by Telecoms Buyers

Race to dominate internet of things sector amid strong competition from tech firms.

The latest market report from technology M&A advisory firm, Hampleton Partners, reveals soaring deal values in the Internet of Things (IoT) sector bolstered by strong interest from telecoms investors fighting to gain a foothold in the rapidly growing market.

The IoT M&A report, which covers mergers and acquisitions in the period between July 2014 and December 2016, shows that deal values were driven by landmark deals such as Softbank’s $ 32 billion acquisition of ARM and Verizon’s $ 2.4 billion purchase of Fleetmatics, both of which topped 2016 deal tables. For the whole IoT sector, the trailing 30-month median revenue multiple rose to 4.0x, after hovering between 3.4x and 3.6x during the period.

Top acquirers

ARM and Intel tied in first place for the highest number of IoT deals, announcing five acquisitions each. Just shy of the top position is Verizon, acquiring four entities. Other active acquirers included NXP, PTC and Google, with three acquisitions each.

Out of 231 transactions in the trailing 30-month period, activity in the monitoring segment accounted for the most – 34 per cent – of all completed deals. 2H 2016 also boosted valuations in the lagging semiconductor segment which made up 20 per cent of all activity in the same period.

Semiconductor resurgence

ARM’s sale to Softbank, along with a handful of other semiconductor-related billion dollar transactions accounted for three out of the top five IoT deals. The resurgence in billion dollar deals resulted in the trailing 30-month median revenue multiple for semiconductor-related transactions making a recovery to pre-2016 levels of 3.5x.

Miro Parizek, principal partner, Hampleton Partners:

“Going forward IoT is likely to be an area of strong mergers and acquisition activity as powerful players vie for leadership in the connected world, seeking to dominate new and emerging technology markets by snapping up key enabling companies in the segment.”

About the research : The 8th bi-annual “Hampleton Partners IoT M&A Research Report, 2H 2016” covers the period from July 2014 – December 2016, using data from 451 research. Download report here

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