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Obscura Digital and Steelblue provide Virtual View Visualization tools to aid sales

By Mike Wheatley | June 1, 2015

Two innovative San Francisco-based firms, Obscura Digital and Steelblue, partnered to design and install the first large-scale residential virtual view simulator showcasing panoramic residential views from a 656-residence for-sale development.

Steelblue panorama

LUMINA, San Francisco’s largest luxury condominium project, currently under construction, is one of the first real estate developments in the world to use immersive simulation projection technologies to support residential condominium sales.

Obscura provided developer Tishman Speyer and the LUMINA sales team a creative technology solution that offers prospective homebuyers an immersive projection experience within a full-size two-bedroom, two-bathroom model home that accurately showcases skyline views from a range of individual residences.

“LUMINA has sold over 200 new homes with the help of this leading edge view simulator technology,” said Carl Shannon, senior managing director of Tishman Speyer. “With hundreds of residences with views ranging from panoramas of the Bay to vistas of Twin Peaks and the City skyline, it was important to incorporate the most advanced technology in our Sales Gallery to aid buyers in selecting their ideal unit."

Partnering with Obscura, Steelblue captured these still frame photos at 200-degree wide settings in conjunction with a series of seamless time-lapse videos captured at a dazzling 12K native resolution. The accurate panoramic views simulate low-, mid- and high-points in the building looking out from different directions and vantage points to see San Francisco Bay and the City skyline, as well as time-lapse viewscapes transitioning from daytime to nighttime. The still frame and time-lapse content is then projected on a massive 72 foot by 10 foot curved screen designed, fabricated and installed by Obscura, immediately behind a replicated nine-foot glass curtain wall in the model home located in the LUMINA Sales Gallery at 289 Main Street. The resulting experience transports prospective buyers to a new residence complete with a realistic panoramic view they are considering to purchase.

“Obscura has been passionately designing and engineering immersive technologies for 15 years and we’re now really beginning to see the next generation of simulation technology and applications emerge,” stated Travis Threlkel, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Obscura Digital. “LUMINA is an extremely effective example that delivers a truly unique real estate sales platform for customers to experience a multitude of San Francisco simulated views at scale within a luxury high-rise Sales Gallery.”

To accomplish the simulation process, Obscura laser scanned the two-bedroom model residence in order to produce an accurate 3D model. From there, the firm built a simulated 3D environment to map the 72-foot curved surface area. A total of 22 projectors are used to illuminate the interactive wall installation equipped with a custom show system designed by Obscura.

Interested homebuyers can interact and explore the panoramic views and time-lapse videos using an iPad controller. The iPads have been programmed to seamlessly update the visual media content as well as controlling the lighting conditions in the

“We wanted to accurately simulate the experience buyers would have once they occupy their new homes,” said Carl Shannon, senior managing director of Tishman Speyer. “When individuals are buying a luxury home, they need to have a detailed understanding of what they are getting so they have a complete picture of their home purchase. We went to Obscura and Steelblue with this challenge and together the two innovative companies found a way to deliver an amazingly lifelike experience in a highly engaging and effective manner.”

“This is one of the first times immersive simulation projection technologies have been used to support the real estate sales industry,” said Shannon. “Obscura's technology innovation has led to LUMINA becoming the most successful Sales Gallery in San Francisco.”

The Steelblue photo images are also used in the Sales Gallery’s four-station, interactive table surrounding a dynamic five-foot architectural model of LUMINA, bringing each residence to life before its completion. The multi-media system allows prospective residents to tour LUMINA’s many floor plan options, access the unique Steelblue photo views from each residence, and explore the highlights of the SoMa neighborhood.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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