URC’s Virtual Inspiration Home builds ultra-realistic VR, 360° interactive environment to experience life in today’s smart home and launch smart products of tomorrow.
URC Automation, the manufacturer of smart home automation and control technology, has launched a virtual showroom that allows users to experience the benefits of its Total Control system.
Given the rise in virtual meetings and experiences, URC crafted this technology as “an immersive journey” that enables visitors to interact within an ultra-realistic virtual home, learn (and even simulate) a variety of control options, and explore the benefits of a URC Total Control system.
Smart home industry experts generally agree that the best method to understand their technology is through “experience.” For instance, living in the space gives a current or future homeowner the feeling of streaming their favorite video content, listening to high-definition audio, automating shades and light according to circadian rhythms, or creating scenes that inspire parties or facilitate relaxation.
The virtual reality sector is expected to grow in the high teens (compound annual growth), which means the technology is quickly evolving and consumer acceptance is exploding. Consumers are using virtual reality to navigate complex e-commerce decisions, differentiate among competing brands, and drive hyper-customization. As expectations grow, brands are quickly realizing the benefits.
With this in mind, URC launched its inspirational virtual home as an alternative to the high costs of a physical showrooms and reluctance of future clients to visit in-person experiences.
While photography-based virtual tours have become a popular choice, URC pursued a more dynamic and diverse experience. This led to the design of a highly detailed, expansive 360° virtual residence as the foundation for the smart home tour. This approach provided a significantly greater wealth of options to simulate URC system capabilities like changing light settings, adjusting shades and drapes, accessing high-definition audio, streaming video content, adjusting climate control, and illustrating different scenes.
This approach provided URC a cost-effective, viable alternative to building a physical experience center. While these venues provide an engaging experience for the limited number of visitors, the ongoing costs to maintain the space, including continuous updates to products and functionality, are substantial. Instead of requiring visitors to travel to a physical location, URC now brings this immersive experience to consumers, allowing global visitors to experience the possibilities of today’s smart home — viewable on any device.
URC’s Virtual Inspiration Home offers a guided tour complete with virtual host or the ability to create a self-guided tour by selecting the preferred room or scene. Creation of Scenes is a primary benefit of URC’s Total Control system, and this virtual home includes the opportunity to experience a variety of scenes:
- Welcome Home — Arriving home safely with pre-programmed activations
- Home Office — Seamless integration of work and home schedules with advanced integrations
- Movie Time — Simple control and automation of favorite streaming AV and music sources with high-definition distribution
- Dinner Party — Setting the stage for intimate to large events that will be the envy of friends
- Outdoor Entertainment — Epic entertainment near the virtual pool, spa, or outdoor kitchen
- Good Night — Featuring a relaxing scene and ability to monitor other rooms throughout the home
“Launching URC’s Virtual Inspiration Home continues the evolution of the URC brand to a more active and engaging position,” stated Ron Pence, who leads URC’s marketing team. “From their devices and no matter their location, consumers can experience the benefits of URC’s advanced technology, consider the possibilities of launching new products and hosting virtual events from a consumer’s preferred device.”
Available at URC’s website, visitors are invited to engage in the virtual smart home. URC certified dealers have been encouraged to join and share the virtual experience via customized landing page and hotlink.
URC’s Virtual Home was created with the technical expertise of Dave Chace and his team at Cogent360, a media design firm specializing in smart home technology. With Chace’s direction, the team implemented a variety of 3D and other media tools to create an ultra-realistic, 360° interactive experience that immediately engages visitors, and inspires them to explore the space and discover the many capabilities and options available throughout the home.
“Our goal was to create an immersive, realistic experience that enables visitors to easily visualize and appreciate the benefits of a URC automation system,” Chace stated. “Our knowledge and experience in the home technology space, combined with our diverse media design capabilities, enabled us to create a truly dynamic experience and an innovative means to launch new products.”
URC previewed its Virtual Inspiration Home with dealers throughout the United States. The new, virtual experience received positive reviews from the tech-savvy community.
“Using a virtual smart home environment, is a great idea to inform end-users on the benefits of URC’s Total Control automation and control system,” stated Ryan Rumer, sales and design at World Wide Stereo Sales. “We plan to stream on our showroom iPads and share with our clients.”
“From geofencing and notifications as you approach the virtual home to the party on the patio, URC created a winning digital tool to help our clients dream big. It’s control and automation on a new level,” added Lowell Kaps, owner, Lowell/Edwards Home Integration Inc.