15 1 / 2016

Watch MIT Technology Review’s Rachel Metz discuss the potential of augmented reality at the most recent TechFestNW.

27 12 / 2015

Augmented Reality for Better Business Decisions

When it comes to making business decisions, past conventional wisdom pointed us toward logical and rational thought to lead to the best outcomes. As what we know about the brain and decision-making has evolved, neuroscientists have found that emotional input is critical to being effectively decisive. This confirms what many people have known to be true anecdotally, that sometimes even when all the critical factors have been considered, you somehow still don’t end up with an optimal outcome. Anyone who has worked on an office revamp or redesign of retail space can likely understand this issue. You can measure everything perfectly, have it represented in a blueprint, but the final result differs greatly from how you had envisioned it.

When it comes to projects related to use of space, often the options for evaluating alternatives are cost-prohibitive renderings or low-tech illustrations that provide limited information. High-quality renderings are also impractical due to the amount of time they can take to modify. Time-intensive rendering processes make it difficult to adjust images on the fly or consider a variety of options efficiently, not to mention the fact that they require a highly specialized skill set. But modern technology and platforms hold promise of a future with better visualization options that are open to more businesses.

Smart phones and tablets have become essential decision-making tools, revolutionizing the way that we can collect, track and use information. Having a high quality camera at the ready at any time makes it easy to photograph and document exact appearances. The SpaceView app utilizes these prevalent, existing hardware technologies together with augmented reality, in order to present true-to-life visualizations of plans and potential. Sales teams use SpaceView to provide more exact renderings of potential purchases in order to close deals faster, and with higher rates of customer satisfaction. Design teams use SpaceView to explore options and get feedback from clients. Retail clients can go beyond the planogram with a 3-d visual rendering. Learn more about how SpaceView can help your organization by requesting a demo. 

16 12 / 2015

SpaceView Featured in Portland Seed Fund Demo Day

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This week SpaceView participated in Portland Seed Fund (PSF) Demo Day to accredited investors. As part of the seventh PSF cohort, SpaceView joins eight other companies, including apparel companies Wildfang and Society Nine, fellow technology companies Notion and Onboard Dynamics, and more. Read more about the demo day in the Portland Business Journal.

05 12 / 2015

Why Augmented Reality Matters Today and What it Means for Tomorrow

Augmented reality has the challenge of being one of those technologies that so many of us learned about through science fiction, that we have a hard time believing the “reality” part. Many consumers think of augmented and virtual reality and picture a futuristic video game involving a cumbersome headset. While many of the current most impressive progressions of the technology have come from Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Microsoft HoloLens and involve gaming and headsets, we shouldn’t expect the technology to stop there.

The journey from obscurity to standard is so common among emerging technologies that the adoption model developed for it in the 1950s still holds true today. Think about the the perception of the internet among consumers in the 1980s. While some tech visionaries saw the internet’s power to connect people, ideas and systems, likely few considered that within a couple of decades the average American would be walking around with the answer to almost any question imaginable available at the tip of their fingers in a matter of seconds. The internet has changed the way we do business, purchase goods, interact with one another and countless other aspects of our daily lives. It’s also spurred the development of entire industries, such as mobile apps, that were unimaginable before.

The real impressive potential of augmented reality will not be in the first generation of products, like the headsets we see today, but in the ways it enables the advancement of existing technologies and provides a platform for the creation of new ones. Augmented reality will enable businesses to do more virtually. The internet brought file sharing, video conference and countless other time and resource saving technologies. Augmented reality brings a new level of visualization of places and products, empowering businesses to get better estimates and make better decisions. SpaceView uses current hardware systems like tablets to provide a seamless visualization of existing spaces and things combined with possible configurations.

Augmented reality has the power to help us see new possibilities in our existing world, to make the imagined into the manifest. Learn more about how SpaceView is leveraging the power of augmented reality today and planning for tomorrow. Learn more about SpaceView by requesting a demo.

27 11 / 2015

Visualization Technology: The Next Big Sales Tool

Some sales are easier to close than others. Many products can be demonstrated for the prospective buyer easily and many of the buyer’s questions can be easily resolved with photos, descriptions and dimensions. A shirt can be tried on, a phone can be tested out, an oven can be inspected, but what about the items that aren’t so easy to visualize? A stay in a hotel room, the new color you may paint your living room, how that LCD screen will transform your office’s conference room are all difficult to imagine until you actually see them. That’s why some major brands, including Marriott are beginning to implement augmented and virtual reality technologies as sales tools.

Marriott has introduced virtual reality to their marketing mix as part of an effort to evolve their brand image and to help sell a fairly complex product: travel. By creating an immersive virtual experience using Oculus Rift, Marriott is able to help would-be customers envision themselves somewhere else and showcase the locations of their properties. According to Marriott, this effort has not only generated buzz, but virtual trips actually increase demand for real travel.

By creating a truly realistic experience, AR and VR hold huge potential for brands that have difficulty showing their customers what they are buying. Visualization technology can help promote buyer confidence and grow average sale price through upselling. Learn how SpaceView enables sales teams to help customers visualize and make a decision. Request a demo to learn how to shorten the sales cycle.

19 11 / 2015

Reinventing Retail

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While online shopping options have exploded in recent years, brick and mortar purchases still account for the vast majority of expenditures - 93% worldwide. Many retailers have struggled to be good at both the online and in-person experiences and their approaches vary. Apple stores have been designed to look like a gallery of technology and products, but be interactive, with friendly, knowledgeable staff. Even as their stores were packed, Apple has questioned how to increase the share of overall phone sales from 20% in stores. A recent report found that 41% of respondents believed an in-person shopping experience was going to be a disappointment when compared to any online one. One of the primary reasons cited was the web’s ability to recommend other products, which was not recreated in the store. Many brands are seeking ways to reinvigorate the retail experience.

Starbucks, long known for piloting new food and beverage offerings in its stores is exploring a new concept with their Reserve Bar in London. The Reserve store experience is based on a more luxurious setting, exclusive beverage offerings and amenities for the connected customer - ultra-fast internet and plenty of wireless charging points. As brands like Starbucks explore new concepts and store designs, augmented reality can be a powerful tool in assisting that process. AR enables brands to try out different options for displays and floor layouts without committing up front. It can also be a valuable way to maintain consistency across different store locations. SpaceView gives brands a way to quickly capture a room and experiment with the placement of different objects using augmented reality. We give retailers a way to better see the impact of decisions and work with teams, whether collocated or across the globe.

16 11 / 2015

Why AR Hasn’t Taken Off…Yet

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At the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, early rumblings of augmented reality headsets helped to propel AR into the “next big thing” category. In 2013 excitement began to build as Google prepared to go to market with its Glass headset. As the headset hit the market in 2014, the interest in the technology was undeniable, but as reviews came in it became clear that Glass was having a difficult time finding its purpose. While the technology was impressive, much of Glass’ positioning was around how it could merge into a user’s everyday life. Augmented and virtual reality headsets haven’t taken off yet, but a new generation that includes Oculus Rift, Microsoft Hololens and Magic Leap renews the promise and potential of augmented reality. While these devices are still in beta, there is much untapped potential for AR with hardware that’s already been widely adopted - smartphones and tablets.

Augmented reality has most readily been adopted by the advertising industry. Some of the biggest success stories come from campaigns for brands like Maybelline and Pepsi, which have used AR to produce more engaging and unique advertising experiences. AR has big implications for the future of retail experiences too, with apps emerging as virtual fitting rooms and extensions of the brand experience. AR has proven value in these areas but it’s just beginning to take off in a way that’s transforming the retail experience for consumers. Right now AR focuses on modifying existing experiences, while the future holds incredible potential for experiences that haven’t even been imagined yet.

Our app enables users to create an instant, to-scale rendering of a room using photos taken with a smartphone or tablet and then move furniture, equipment or any other item in our library around in it.  SpaceView enables a visualization that hasn’t been possible before, and leverages the hardware most consumers already have. Utilizing the camera and built-in sensors of the device, our application receives the 3D data and creates an interactive rendering that helps users determine the placement and optimal use of objects. We look forward to the future AR headsets, which will allow for an even more immersive experience using SpaceView.

See how we can provide your company a 3D experience today with the SpaceView app, and unlock the augmented technology of tomorrow by requesting a demo.

12 11 / 2015

The Time is now for Augmented Reality

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After being touted by tech media for years as “the next big thing” augmented reality is happening. Revenue potential estimates over the next five years hover in the hundreds of billions. Many projections are based in part on the success of the smartphone market, which presents a viable and widespread platform for AR capabilities. Much of the media discussion around virtual and augmented reality focuses on VR devices such as the Oculus Rift and Hololens which show impressive potential, but likely have several iterations ahead of them before they achieve a strong market footprint. Even Oculus founder Palmer Luckey has warned that it may take a few generations for the Rift headset to take off.

Today, the hardware of leading smartphones and tablets provide a basis for augmented reality applications and can begin to solve real business problems. At SpaceView, we utilize hardware that is already institutional in businesses, and in the pockets of most consumers. Using augmented reality, we’re helping sales representatives provide better information to their prospects, speeding decision making and improving outcomes.

Our application can be used on a smartphone or tablet and allows sales representatives to work with their clients to incorporate real-time feedback. This enables clients to make better purchase decisions and submit approvals faster. The current standard for a visualization or rendering involves a lot of discussion to ensure that everyone is on the same page, collecting feedback and incorporating that feedback into a schematic or rendering that cannot be modified in real time and requires significant technical know-how to produce.

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While the technology behind augmented reality is complex, we believe that using it doesn’t have to be. SpaceView uses complex algorithms coupled with the information from a device’s sensors to provide a 3-dimensional view of an existing space. Users then drag and drop items from SpaceView’s 3D library into the correctly scaled scene. The familiarity of existing devices and a clean interface design help our customers on-board their users quickly and incorporate use into their sales processes with ease. Thinking in terms of 3D visualizations can take some getting used to, which is why we focus on intuitive design to make the transition as seamless as possible.

The entertainment and advertising industries have been leveraging augmented reality technology for several years, but with the projected market potential we should expect to see expansion across a myriad of industries. Existing hardware makes possible the development of products and services that a few years ago would have been unimaginable. The time is now for businesses to leverage the massive potential of augmented reality.

11 11 / 2015

Watch the Pitch that Landed SpaceView the top Prize at Angel Oregon

“Portland entrepreneur Milos Jovanovic took home the top prize at Angel Oregon in May for SpaceView, his software company that allows you to visualize objects in rooms without physically moving them (think virtual reality for interior design). Hosted by Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, Angel Oregon is the state’s preeminent pitch contest in which investors pool money and award it to the company most worthy of investment. SpaceView took home $240,000 following the pitch seen here. Visit OEN for more on the contest and the winner.” Portland Business Journal

07 11 / 2015

SpaceView Named Finalist for Small Business Company of the Year

We’re honored to be recognized as a finalist in the category of Company of the Year for the Portland Business Journal’s (PBJ) 2015 Small Business Innovation Awards. As noted by the PBJ, “More than half of Portland’s workforce is employed by small companies.“ We’re proud to be part of Portland’s vibrant,  innovative, and continually evolving startup community.

Read more in PBJ’s SpaceView profile.

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Image courtesy Portland Business Journal

05 11 / 2015

Augmented Reality and the Future of the Customer Experience

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As e-commerce grew exponentially in recent decades, we heard over and over again about the death of the brick and mortar store. In 2015, it’s clear that those reports were greatly exaggerated. While some retailers have struggled to maintain the dominance they once held, others, like Amazon have branched into it for the first time. And while online shopping has grown dramatically, 93% of global purchases still take place in brick and mortar locations. The discussion around retail has now frequently focused on what retailers can do to ensure that customers have a robust and consistent brand experience in-store.

Franchised businesses often face some of the biggest hurdles when it comes to accomplishing these brand experiences. McDonalds, which recently posted its first positive earnings in seven quarters, is a brand that has struggled to maintain the consistency that made it such a paramount success in the first place. The company is experimenting with ways to make the brand experience more engaging, for one by reinventing the ordering experience. Augmented reality offers huge potential for corporations wanting to better influence the design and appearance of their franchise locations.

Using images of the existing space, augmented reality provides a way for decision makers to evaluate options and gauge what’s feasible. SpaceView helps organizations determine what’s possible with an existing space and enables faster, more informed decisions. Learn more about how SpaceView helps brands using the power of augmented reality by requesting a demo.

29 10 / 2015

A Good Rendering is Worth 1,000 Revisions

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What’s the true cost of a bad estimate? Considering lost time, added cost for additional materials and pushing back other activities, it can be very high. A decision based on poor information is expensive, but decision-making also has implications for profitability. A study featured in Harvard Business Review of 760 large global firms found a strong correlation between the most profitable firms and their ability to evaluate and execute decisions quickly. Conversely, the lower performing firms in the group were also the ones that struggled to make informed, timely decisions.

Today’s businesses have more information available to them than at any other time in history. You can run regression analysis on a seemingly limitless number of factors in your business based on metrics, but there are still areas that are stuck in slow, tedious processes. When scouting a location for a new retail store, for instance, the current process of evaluating a potential space involves examining floorplans, producing renderings, evaluating and editing those renderings until you get a “close enough” estimate. It can take weeks to know if a space is even physically viable for the requirements of the business.

Seemingly straightforward business decisions are also complicated and slowed down by a lack of efficient technology to visualize a proposal. The decision to employ digital displays in corporate offices or retail stores may at first seem as simple as putting a display on a wall, the sales decision process requires answering a myriad of questions. Vendors working with clients on smaller engagements often go without a visual representation of what is proposed which slows the sales process and increases the likelihood of missing the target of what the client really needs. While customer and sales rep can agree verbally on what will be delivered, without a visual to review, the process relies on both parties envisioning the same thing.

See how SpaceView helps sales teams better meet customer needs during the evaluation and purchase process.

28 10 / 2015

It’s Time for Visualization Technology to Catch up

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It’s difficult to name a process that hasn’t been revolutionized by technology in recent decades. Businesses can develop and create information faster than ever before and thanks to advances in computing technology we can capture an image and send it across the world in a few seconds aided only by the smartphone we carry in our pockets. While the ability to share information faster has changed, much of how we evaluate a space, what objects to buy to fill it and how to place them has not.

When CAD software was first introduced to engineers, architects and designers, decades ago, it began a revolution in the way designs were presented and plans were made, expanding the ability of companies to develop accurate and reproducible documents. In the time since, 3D rendering software has advanced in sophistication, but the focus has been on the complex, time consuming work of the few, highly technical users. Computing technology overall, by contrast, has greatly expanded its reach to non-technical users in that same time period. What was once a tool for the engineer is now embedded into everyday life and nearly all types of work - technical or not.

Visualization technology remains largely focused on the highly trained and specialized user, while its potential user base continues to grow, especially as a visual merchandising tool. Retail companies scouting new space spend significant time and resources on renderings to ensure that the space under consideration can meet their needs and adhere to their brand experience. Each time Starbucks opens a new store or The Gap wants to update displays at their many of locations, they rely on rendering technology that can be time intensive and expensive or forgo it altogether due to those prohibiting factors. Visual display retailers can provide a rendering estimate for prospects, but it takes time to put together and accuracy can be challenging. Few platforms take advantage of emerging augmented reality technology, which combines what is, with what could be; in a powerful visual.

05 5 / 2015

Watch the Pitch that won Angel Oregon

From the Portland Business Journal:

“Portland entrepreneur Milos Jovanovic took home the top prize at Angel Oregon in May for SpaceView, his software company that allows you to visualize objects in rooms without physically moving them (think virtual reality for interior design). Hosted by Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, Angel Oregon is the state’s preeminent pitch contest in which investors pool money and award it to the company most worthy of investment. SpaceView took home $240,000 following the pitch seen here. Visit OEN for more on the contest and the winner.”

27 4 / 2015

SpaceView Wins Angel Oregon

Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) has awarded SpaceView $240,000 as the winner of the 2015 Angel Oregon Showcase. Since 2005, OEN has awarded more than $3 million in seed funding. Thanks to the OEN for your contribution to the continued development and advancement of the SpaceView platform. Read more about the competition on GeekWire.

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Image courtesy OEN