Mixed reality for architecture and real Estate by MSM.digital and mixed.world
MSM.digital and mixed.world combine design, branding and technology to take customer engagement to new levels. They collaborate on large-scale projects, including experiential marketing, AR/VR, training and content creation in architecture and real estate.
When the design and branding expertise at MSM.digital meets the multi-user experience at mixed.world, customer engagement moves to a new level. Together, the companies have developed Virtual Places, a mixed-reality experience that displays a 3D map on a table to users in different locations. In each location, people wearing AR glasses share the experience of touring, discussing and interacting with the map in real time.
Super-powers for architects and real estate agents
A high-profile application of Virtual Places is the companies’ joint Wilhelm Project, which uses Snapdragon Spaces™ XR Developer Platform, the Microsoft Bing Maps SDK and highly detailed maps of downtown Berlin, Germany. Virtual Spaces makes it possible to see and tour buildings in 3D – months before they have been built.
“We received the computer-aided design (CAD) files of the building plans from the architects,” says Fabian Quosdorf, Managing Director of mixed.world. “Then, together with MSM.digital, we created a real-time, 3D representation and integrated it to the map at the exact GPS location and position the building will occupy. With all the context and surroundings, Virtual Places offers a much better impression of how the building will eventually look. Plus, it gives super-powers to architects and real estate agents because prospective occupants and investors can not only see the exterior but also tour the interior interactively.”
In the Wilhelm Project, users can inspect specific aspects of the building, story by story, in a transparent, holographic view. The virtual tour includes a penthouse apartment on the seventh floor, with the furnishings, environment and details that make it interesting and special. “Virtual Places adds a new layer of interactivity and even creativity to the traditional sales process,” says Quosdorf. “Imagine multiple projects besides Wilhelm, elsewhere in the world, all integrated into a single experience. Architects and real estate agents could use it for multi-user presentations of their virtual portfolio.”
Creating a real-world tour of a building using Snapdragon Spaces
mixed.world uses Dual Render Fusion feature as the foundation of all of the applications they build on Snapdragon Spaces. That allows users wearing connected AR glasses to see the spatial map in real time in full 3D. At the same time, users navigate the world they see in the glasses with typical gestures – like multi-touch, pinch-and-zoom and rotation with two fingers – on a tethered, device powered by Snapdragon® technology.
To improve the multi-user experience, mixed.world uses Local Spatial Anchors so everyone sees the same content anchored at the same position and location. The company also built a cloud-based version of those anchors to allow devices in different locations anchor to the same virtual table at the same position. With Camera Frame Access, developer company has enabled image-based cube tracking, which uses a paper cube that customers can set on a table later and track with the glasses, extending customer engagement.
“For user interactions, we use the phone screen as a Companion Controller, with full Dual Render Fusion. When users want to move between floors, we give them the option of switching from using the phone as a controller to Hand Tracking,” says Quosdorf.
Snapdragon Spaces Dual Render Fusion allows mixed.world to render on the phone any content that users would normally see in a mobile app. And, they can stay entirely in the Unity environment, working with designers on engaging user experiences directly for the phone screen.
Contributing to the developer community
MSM.digital and mixed.world found new possibilities in Snapdragon Spaces, took advantage of them and then contributed the resulting features, Ultra-Sync and View-Port, to the developer community. “Ultra-Sync is the shared user experience at the heart of Virtual Places,” says Camillo Stark, Deputy Managing Director of MSM.digital. “It allows developers to incorporate multi-user sharing locally and remotely, with excellent performance. This is its debut in a Snapdragon demo.”
Another innovative feature, View-Port, gives an ability to view shared virtual experience from an external camera and film it live. “Developers often have to work in the alter-ego perspective,” says Stark. “Headset cameras not always have great resolution, so the virtual content doesn’t look good when you’re inside it. Or, if you move your head too fast for the camera to follow, the content appears distorted and you lose a lot of the story. View-Port is the outside point of view you need to see and understand the content. It’s a supplemental feature one can easily download onto smartphone, then film the experience and capture it for events and showcases.” The two companies have made Ultra-Sync and View-Port available to any Snapdragon Spaces developer to adopt.
MR experience highlights:
- Options for user interaction. Users can switch between Dual Render Fusion with the tethered device and Hand Tracking with gestures.
- Giving back to the developer community. MSM.digital and mixed.world have contributed innovative features that deepen the shared, virtual experience for users.
- Enabling virtual, multi-user tours. Virtual Places facilitates business integration and shared user engagement beyond geographical barriers.
“Wilhelm Project experience build on Snapdragon Spaces offers much more than traditional marketing. We sent AR glasses to potential customers in other countries and the salesperson in Germany can give them a remote real estate tour. This use of technology builds excitement and make the sales process portable.”
– Camillo Stark, Deputy Managing Director, MSM.digital
“The work with MSM.digital and their partners was outstanding and the opportunities that such an immersive solution provides is truly untapped.”