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In the recent article on real-time rendering we have seen how the ability to interact with products and receive immediate feedback is the basis of a digital experience that is useful for facilitating decision-making processes. The new 3D technologies increase access to a series of features that until recently were reserved for an elite list of users. This will generally result in a much more competitive context where it will be essential to stand out among a hyper offer of digital contents.

Making decisions in real time can be a strategically decisive factor. But who are the decision makers involved? And what are the digital tools they need? Let’s try to identify some of the most relevant types and how the fate of a company’s strategy can depend on their actions.

  • Designers – Technicians and creatives. They are the most knowledgeable categories in the creation and management of 3D content. Real-time 3D software allows you, in the true sense of the word, to design at the speed of thought, making the rendering phase simultaneous with that of product design. To visualize a concept in a realistic and immediate way allows you to make decisions faster and more efficiently, significantly reducing the time to market of a product.
  • Team Leaders – These are corporate figures who are expert in the processes linked to the product development cycle and who, however, do not have direct knowledge of 3D design tools such as CAD and solid/traditional surface modelers. The use of real-time rendering solutions can therefore greatly facilitate their involvement in PLCs.
  • Clients (B2B) – In the same way, a software capable of displaying the progress of a project in real-time allows a client to be directly involved in the design phase; by showing them and making them appreciate the design effort from which the product is born they become participants in the decision-making process giving them a true feeling of ownership of a product. A real-time 3D rendering tool can therefore prove to be a determining factor in customizing the customer experience.

A tangible demonstration of what this vision can become in the near future is given by Project Holodeck, a collaborative 3D real-time platform developed by NVIDIA which allows designers and all stakeholders to collaborate in Virtual Reality with the possibility of interacting in every aspect of the product. Holodeck is a solution with a declared Enterprise application and is based on Unreal Engine 4 with the implementation of proprietary NVIDIA VRWorks, DesignWorks and GameWorks technologies.

  • Marketing and Commercial – One of the most common needs for those who must present a product is to communicate it and “make it understood” in the best possible way, in the shortest possible time. An aspect that is all the more critical if the product has innovative features, little known by the potential customer. Through interaction it is possible to explore the characteristics of a product and grasp all the details of its functioning, in a process that greatly facilitates understanding. Presentations in real-time 3D therefore constitute an extraordinarily effective tool for the communication needs of a product.

  • Customers and consumers (B2C) – Internet and new technologies have made the customer increasingly active and involved in the purchasing process. If once a brand could impose a product by pushing it through traditional advertising, today the picture has changed profoundly. The consumer has all the tools to find what they want, what they need and they ask to have a say. The best advertising for a product often becomes the positive opinion of users, as evidenced by the role played in marketing strategies by the so-called influencers. Companies have the practical need to allow the potential customer to customize the product, to give them the options they want and, above all, the last word in the decision that leads them to purchase. These logics are at the basis of omnichannel strategies and are valid for e-commerce and retail, as they can be implemented in any digital marketing strategy.

A tangible example of an instrument that is able to involve and activate the final customer is the Sparco real-time 3D online configurator, developed by Protocube Reply.

As far as the retail experience is concerned, it is impossible not to mention the configurator in augmented reality of Nike ID featured at the Nike Stores in Paris.

Sources consulted for this article: Epic Enterprise (for Unreal Engine and Datasmith), NVIDIA (for Project Holodeck), Nike, Razer.

This post is also available in: Italiano

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Francesco La Trofa

Architect and journalist with 20 years’ experience in 3D technologies.
Consultant to public entities and 3D businesses for aspects relating to design and communications.
Head of editorial content at Treddi.com and co-founder of Digital Drawing Days, the only event of its kind in Italy.
Actively involved in research and teaching at Milan Polytechnic.
Edits 3D STORIES for Protocube Reply.