Aware of the high costs of a physical showroom and reluctance of future clients to visit in-person experiences, URC Automation has launched a virtual showroom that allows users to experience the benefits of a Total Control system. The immersive journey enables visitors to interact within an ultra-realistic virtual home, learn (and even simulate) a variety of control options, and explore all that a URC Total Control system offers.
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.
While photography-based virtual tours have become a popular choice, URC pursued a more dynamic and immersive experience. This led to the design of a highly detailed, expansive 360-degree 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, illustrating different scenes, and much more.
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,” says Ron Pence, who leads URC’s marketing team. “No matter their location, consumers can experience the benefits of URC’s advanced technology. Plus, consider the possibilities of launching new products and hosting virtual events all from a consumer’s preferred device.”
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 Chase’s direction, the team implemented a variety of 3D and other media tools to create an ultra-realistic, 360-degree 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” says Chace. “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.”
Sneak Preview: Watch the Introductory Video
URC previewed its Virtual Inspiration Home with dealers throughout the United States, which inspired the following comments:
Ryan Rumer, Sales and Design at World Wide Stereo Sales: “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. We plan to stream on our showroom iPads and share with our clients.”
Lowell Kaps, Owner, Lowell/Edwards Home Integration, Inc.: “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.”
Henley Garcia, Hemag, Inc.: “With this virtual smart home experience, we are able to deliver our message to our clients so they can understand a true URC Total Control system. It brings sales to a new level for all our clients…even new ones. It’s like having your own, all-in-one system to decide what want.”
Available at URC’s website, https://urc-automation.com/vr/, 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.