28 10 / 2015

It’s Time for Visualization Technology to Catch up


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.