2016 - breakthrough year for architectural visualisation

2016 sure is exciting for a few reasons. First and foremost — big players launched their headsets commercialwise. Consumers next-in-line after developers can now get their hands on vr and try on how it is to venture the virtual world.

Google released their Tango technology in Lenovo Phab phones that makes devices (smartphones and tablets right now) aware of their surroundings. This opens up tremendous possibilities for visualisation market. And it is already explored extensively by companies. The bottomline is that consumers no longer have to rely on flat pictures or photo-based interactive tours, they can tour their designs in real scale and in quality that resembles real life. They can see their designs in the context of the real, unfinished location with devices that render beautiful lifelike scenes in real time.

People don’t buy just house designs, they buy dreams with their heart, with their emotions. That’s why visualisations play crucial role, that’s why storytelling matters so much. Good real estate agents knew it long time ago and they employ storytelling in their basic everyday routine when touring clients around prospect flats but sometimes it’s just these simple truths we tend to forget that make or break the deal.

Recently I’ve had a very interesting meeting with some senior executives from one of the biggest construction development companies in the world. We were discussing some niuances regarding on how to prepare and sell building designs with beautiful visualisations and one of them said something that rings in my head up to this day. He said that in residential sector client’s decision is 80% emotion driven.

Every good salesman knows that product won’t sell itself without a good story. Steve Jobs knew it when he coined the Think Different phrase. Personally i’ve switched to Mac just recently and I appreciate it’s solid, reliable nature but when I got first iPad few years ago I remember this trembling feeling of excitement that surrounded the whole situation. The same feeling but in greater scale is a part of seeing your future home for the first time. That’s why good visualisations matter so much.

I remember when CG Artist published it’s survey 2009 regarding visualisation industry back then. No one anticipated that Virtual Reality would enter our lives so loudly, it was a joke back then. Augmented Reality was present on mobile devices but in a form that’s not digestable to any user looking for immersive experience (to be honest it still is :). But this survey was important because of one single reason — it proved that CG visualisation was a full blown industry working alongside the architect world. It relied on still image renders and animations back then (it’s still the biggest chunk of the workload) and was mostly crafted by specialists that moaned and groaned about the crisis situation but even back then it was already full steam ahead. People needed visualisations and 64% of the architect world worked with them on daily basis.

Right now it’s a different world. If anyone doubts it I recommend to get the cheapest cardboard and try the VR on the android phone. We’re in the different reality. Processors and GPUs render beautiful stuff even on mobile devices. Virtual Reality is paving the way in the gaming and construction industry with a speed of light. Beautiful visualisations ran on Oculus Rift make people feel the difference. Real Estate and Construction verticals still rely so much on still images and movies, we even spend small fortunes on print materials but the truth is that big change is just around the corner and it has the face wrapped in the virtual reality headset :)

This all sums up in one short moment of awe when You see your future house. You can sit on a sofa with a VR headset, You can be in your architect’s office or You can stand in your unfinished construction site holding the Tango device but You can surely see it and feel it. It makes You smile and when You share it with your family on their mobile devices it makes them share your dream. And this is what defines a good sales scenario. Make them excited, make them emotionally involved.

About the author

Jan and his Pixel Legend team is building Emb3d, the platform that allows architects to quickly deploy beautiful visualisations to all devices and collaborate with clients to close deals faster.