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PureWeb worked with a luxury appliance brand and its marketing agency to host an online interactive 3D showroom of CGI products created by world-class 3D content creators and gamification experts and facilitated by powerful graphics technology.
Impactful product showroom for upcoming virtual event
Need to replicate the high-touch experience of a real showroom
Collaboration between leading 3D creation, technology, and distribution providers
Photorealistic and interactive 3D experience accessible on any device
Enhanced post-event shopping experience through immersive kitchen environments hosted on brand’s website
Signature Kitchen Suite (SKS) prides itself on designing and producing the industry’s best built-in appliances with a focus on high performance, precision, and design. In September of 2020, SKS and global marketing firm INNOCEAN embarked on a project to build an interactive 3D experience center to give consumers the freedom to experience, interact with, and compare products in an interactive environment. The experience’s initial planned launch date would have been in early 2022, but an important trade show, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), changed that.
“KBIS had to make the difficult decision to go virtual just a few months before their show dates.” says Helen Cho, Account Director, INNOCEAN USA.
SKS and INNOCEAN were already working with Taylor James, a creative production studio with expertise in photorealistic 3D design, to create more computer-generated imagery (CGI) to build on the assets created for a design guide catalogue. SKS designers would supply Taylor James with a floor plan and 2D sketches, and Taylor James’ artists would use this to render lifelike versions of the SKS product line.
“The SKS Design Council wanted to give their customers the ability to experience their appliances,” explains Ross DelConte, Head of Automotive and Future Technology at Taylor James. “That quickly escalated from, ‘Let's look at building a virtual experience centre for launch in late 2021 or early 2022’ to, ‘We have an event coming up in January of 2021, and we can't build an actual set because it's going to be virtual. How do we do this now?’ So what was supposed to be a nice twelve-month leeway turned into a three-month sprint.”
The Taylor James team tweaked the project scope to deliver a high quality experience on time. They focused on designing three kitchen environments for SKS – Contemporary Coast, Urban Chic, and Country Modern – so customers could view their products within different design aesthetics. Each option offers a lifelike and immersive 3D and 360-degree view of SKS products in an expertly curated kitchen environment. SKS was able to give their consumers the opportunity to interact with their flagship and new products such as opening the drawers of the industry’s first Undercounter Convertible Drawer Refrigerator, switching elements like Pro Ranges and Rangetops to see how SKS’ options align to personal aesthetics, and exploring the Column Wine Refrigerators to see their exclusive Wine Cave Technology™.
In the past, building these interactive experiences would be time consuming and expensive. In 2021, Taylor James could leverage Unreal Engine, the real-time 3D creation platform, to deliver real-time renderings and pixel streaming. NVIDIA’s leading graphics card technology was essential to making this possible. It enables ray tracing technology, a cutting-edge graphics technology that allows attendees to have a visually realistic experience while interacting with SKS’ kitchen appliances.
“Ray tracing is all about making it look as real as possible,” explains Sean Young, Director of Business Development at NVIDIA. “If you change things, like the configuration of something and the lighting changes or some of the objects in the scene change and they cast different shadows, it won’t look as good. Every time something doesn't look good, it takes away from the perception that it’s real. And you don’t want to take away that perception of something looking real when you’re trying to sell it, it’s worth a lot of money, and it’s a complex sales process.”
Ray tracing allowed visitors to configure, customize, and interact with SKS appliances without losing any of the photorealism by using physics to capture granular details, like shadow information, each time there was a change. Doing this in real time was impossible before NVIDIA’s RTX solution.
Once the experience was created, SKS, Taylor James, and INNOCEAN faced a new challenge: distributing the event.
“KBIS had their own platform where all the exhibitors had to have their environments posted, but they couldn't host Unreal Engine content. We had to think of another way to have our Unreal Engine assets live and hosted and that's where Pixel Canvas and PureWeb were key in bringing that to life,” says Cho. “We had about two months – a pretty aggressive timeline to make that happen.”
Pixel Canvas, a digital event studio, provided the infrastructure for hosting the event. They acted as the middleman getting Taylor James’ models onto the PureWeb platform by optimizing the content, hooking up interactive elements, triggering animations, gathering analytics, and reporting metrics back to SKS and INNOCEAN.
As the leading enterprise streaming solution for streaming interactive, web-based 3D content, PureWeb helps brands distribute their immersive experiences to the largest audience possible without compromising on quality. With PureWeb, event attendees could walk through the three kitchen environments without needing specialized gear. They could access a real time experience from their laptop, tablet, or smartphone thanks to PureWeb’s proprietary technology.
“With partners like PureWeb, we can keep the high fidelity of the visualizations that we do while still marrying the interactivity,” says DelConte. “It's the marrying of the art and the science and the technology for someone to get fully immersed in the experience. This is the way of the future.”
“What's amazing about PureWeb and Pixel Canvas together is really being able to specialize in what we're good at and what we're trying to achieve. Together, we have this really, really cool product,” says Liam Nguyen, Chief Executive Officer at Pixel Canvas.
“PureWeb is a one-stop shop. They know what they’re doing, they’ve done it many times before, and they have everything figured out,” says Young. “They have everything that you need to get your Unreal Engine executable — integrated into your website and available to people from all over the world without you having to worry about how to do that.”
The final experience had the capacity to host 3,500 people over four days thanks to PureWeb’s platform. Despite the KBIS virtual event being cancelled at the last minute, the interactive experience allowed SKS to collect over 1,500 qualified leads with rich data on visitors’ experiences. This meant that other exhibitors who had prepared for this event were at a loss while the show went on for SKS. SKS and INNOCEAN were able to gather data on which kitchen environments users preferred, which appliances they interacted with most, or where they spent the most time. All of these data points could go into a positive feedback loop to inform future marketing strategy and activities as well as product development. After witnessing the impact of the final product, SKS decided to continue hosting the interactive kitchen environments on their websites. It has become a helpful online product demo tool for the full SKS line of products.
“Business is now a mix of virtual and in-person so the interactive kitchens will remain a key marketing tool for SKS,” Helen Cho, Account Director at Innocean USA
Your brand can deliver an immersive and interactive experience by partnering with the leading providers in 3D content creation and distribution. Learn how to leverage this technology for your business growth strategy by speaking with one of our PureWeb representatives.