Game engines have taken architectural visualization to a whole new level. Thanks to visualization firms, property developers can provide interactive 3D home tours to their customers without spending money on an expensive show home. Plus, they can create 3D renderings of home upgrades in real time.
But how can these virtual home tours be reliably shared through the cloud? After all, the entire purpose of a virtual home tour is to conduct it anytime, anywhere. If sales representatives want to reach customers, they need a way for customers to stream these scenes as easily as they’d watch a movie.
But as anyone who deals with 3D models knows, 3D files are massive. Plus, traditional methods of transferring 3D files strip away most of their quality.
A fully-managed cloud-based platform is the answer. A few alternatives exist on the market, but they come up short for a few reasons.
WebGL offers a way for content creators to share 3D models directly within the browser.
Needless to say, this is a compelling proposition for 3D content developers. No plug-ins equals no muss and no fuss. Nevertheless, WebGL presents significant limitations for developers working on enterprise-level projects.
For starters, WebGL is an API for low-level graphics. For AEC firms trying to distribute photorealistic projects that properly reflect textures, shading, and lighting within a commercial or residential property, WebGL presents more challenges than it does solutions.
In addition, WebGL introduces latency issues that are unacceptable for AEC companies offering a seamless marketing experience for customers. If a sales rep is streaming a virtual home into a meeting space, a slow load time makes it difficult for customers to suspend their disbelief when imagining their new home, effectively undermining the entire experience.
Finally, WebGL is almost impossible for mobile deployments. This isn’t a channel property marketers can afford to sacrifice since mobile devices account for more than half of online traffic worldwide. What’s more, pages that take more than 3 seconds to load lose more than half of mobile visitors.
AppStream is a fully-managed app streaming service offered by Amazon Web Services. The service allows companies to securely share applications through the cloud to any device. Applications are run securely in the cloud, providing the security that enterprises need and allows these enterprises to scale without acquiring additional infrastructure in the form of data centers. AppStream offers a fluid user experience by running applications on virtual machines that are specifically optimized for them.
These are highly useful benefits. But AppStream is not specifically optimized for enterprise-level sharing of 3D applications and this limitation manifests itself in the following shortcomings:
- No hybrid deployment options
- Lack of custom integrations
- Lower server efficiency
- Not fully managed
- No integrated collaboration tools
Fully-Managed cloud deployment platform
On the other hand, a fully-managed interactive 3D content distribution platform like PureWeb helps you turn raw computing power and heavy 3D models into a fluid sharing experience. In a simple world, deploying an interactive 3D experience is as simple as firing up a few servers. In reality, there are countless processes involved, including:
- Configuring your chosen cloud solution (e.g. AWS, Google, Azure)
- Handling the coordination of streaming session connections (e.g. home buyers logging in for a virtual walkthrough, stakeholders collaborating on a model)
- Scheduling user sessions to available servers
- Orchestrating the dynamic scaling of servers to meet user demand
- Finding a suitable streaming application or protocol that prioritizes security and protects your proprietary data
- Setting up your chosen streaming application and deploy multiple concurrent users to the same high-performance GPUs in the cloud (for Unreal Engine 3D applications)
- Managing security and authentication, system monitoring and logging, fault tolerance, and more
These features form the foundation to effectively Review, Publish, and Engage with interactive 3D content.
Builders, contractors, and designers can review multiple 3D versions of a commercial or residential space rendered with game engines like Unreal or Unity.
They can interact and discuss within the same virtual space, accelerating their workflows. Plus, they can incorporate client requests and revisions faster while using game engines as one company.
AEC and real estate marketers can deploy national or global marketing campaigns with interactive 3D models of the units for sale streamed to any buyer’s preferred device and accessed from any webpage.
Plus, their buyers can share models to their own friends and family, increasing the impact of the marketing campaign through social proof.
In addition, PureWeb’s interactive 3D streaming platform is designed to withstand usage spikes and efficiently manage increased traffic, ensuring a successful campaign doesn’t lead to outrageous cloud computing costs.
Digital experiences and human experiences are not mutually exclusive. Your sales representatives can accompany your prospects through each step of the buyer’s journey by logging in remotely to help them navigate virtual walkthroughs - essentially offering real-time video chat capabilities as the home buyer plays with a gamified show home.
As they explore their potential new home, the sales rep is available to answer questions, pitch upgrades, and take requests for customizations. Plus, sales representatives can invite other stakeholders to a live video chat, including contractors and designers, to further enhance the customer experience.
At the end of the day, a fully-managed interactive streaming experience allows property developers to focus on building outstanding properties and delightful customer experiences while an experienced team manages the behind-the-scenes work.
Interested in learning how to securely stream virtual tours through the cloud? Download our latest whitepaper, Interactive 3D Streaming in AEC: How Virtual Show Homes Help Buyers Play House to learn more.