Even though most gaming investors will have their eyes firmly set on Roblox's long-awaited direct listing today, industry rival Unity Software (NYSE: U) just made a big bet away from gaming.
Ever wondered what it would be like to build a house virtually?
According to a filing yesterday, Unity might be able to help construction workers actually build projects virtually via its acquisition of VisualLive for an undisclosed fee. VisualLive is an augmented reality (AR) solution for the manufacturing, building, architecture, and engineering industry, and fits right in with Unity's Reflect platform, which specializes in AR and VR innovation.
Despite an obvious slowdown due to the pandemic, construction is still a multi-trillion-dollar industry in the U.S. alone, but it has one very costly problem: human error. It is estimated that avoidable construction mistakes cost U.S. firms over $200 billion annually, but Unity can now use its considerable resources and expertise in the space to reduce these errors by building a project virtually for inspection before physical construction begins.
The AR market is a young industry, and thus far, it has been heavily focused on gaming. However, by becoming an early mover in the VR-for-construction space, Unity is not only spreading its risk across a whole new industry away from the competitive gaming space, but it could also create a multi-billion-dollar construction arm for its business.
In a post-pandemic world where the construction industry has been COVID-ravaged and is in desperate need of cost-cutting, preventing the costly mistakes before they even happen could be a massive opportunity, and Unity knows it.
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