URC Virtual Environment

Virtual Environment Smart Home Experience

NEWS - APRIL 2022


Virtual Environment Replaces Brick and Mortar Smart Home Experience


URC builds ultra-realistic VR, 360° interactive environment to experience life in today’s smart home and launch smart products of tomorrow.


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THE BEST METHOD TO UNDERSTAND SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY is through experience. Living in the space gives a current or future homeowner the feeling of streaming their favorite video content, listening to high-definition audio, automating shades and light according to circadian rhythms, or create scenes that inspire parties or facilitate relaxation.

The virtual reality sector is expected to grow by CAGRs in the high teens which means the technology is quickly evolving and consumer acceptance is exploding. Consumers are using virtual reality to navigate complex e-commerce decisions, differentiate among competing brands and drive hyper-customization. As expectations grow, brands are quickly realizing the benefits.

 
 

Instead of the high costs of a physical showroom and reluctance of future clients to visit in-person experiences, one brand in the smart home sector has launched an inspirational virtual home. URC Automation, a global leader in smart home automation and control for residential and commercial applications, announces the launch of a virtual showroom that allows users to experience the benefits of a Total Control® system.

Given the rise in virtual meetings and experiences, URC crafted a strategy to create an immersive journey that enables visitors to interact within an ultrarealistic virtual home, learn (and even simulate) a variety of control options, and explore the benefits of a URC Total Control system.

 
 

While photography-based virtual tours have become a popular choice, URC pursued a more dynamic and diverse experience. This led to the design of a highly detailed, expansive 360° 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.

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.

 
 

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 A/V 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. From their devices and no matter their location, consumers can experience the benefits of URC’s advanced technology,” stated Ron Pence, who leads URC’s Marketing team. Pence added, “consider the possibilities of launching new products and hosting virtual events from a consumer’s preferred device.”

Available at URC’s website, visitors are invited to engage in the virtual smart home. URC certified dealers have been encouraged to join and share the virtual experience via a customized landing page and hotlink.

 
 

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 Dave’s direction, the team implemented a variety of 3D and other media tools to create an ultrarealistic, 360° 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. 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” stated Chace, Cogent360’s President.

 
 

URC previewed its Virtual Inspiration Home with dealers throughout the United States. The new, virtual experience received rave reviews from the tech savvy community:

“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.”
— Ryan Rumer, Sales and Design at World Wide Stereo

“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.”
— Lowell Kaps, Owner, Lowell/Edwards Home Integration, 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 you want.”
— Henley Garcia, Hemag, Inc.