London and New York based architectural visualisation studio The Boundary, renowned for being the only visualisers to work with architects Tadao Ando and Peter Zumthor, and for marketing New York City’s 70 Vestry, has launched a first-of-its-kind, barrierless VR tool, The Boundary Explore.
The hyper-real platform – hailed as a “game changer” for the super prime residential market – allows buyers to seamlessly tour and experience properties throughout the world in real-time without the need to travel, or use uncomfortable VR headsets which are a major barrier to conversion and sales.
The product takes the kind of realism previously confined to marketing suites because of hardware requirements, and brings it to a buyer’s tablet, phone, or web browser using a regular internet connection. Buyers can tour a space independently or with a sales representative in its entirety before a foundation brick has been laid.
The Boundary Explore is already in use by clients including the $1 billion restoration of New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel, and Millennium Bridge House, which will create a new roof garden and restaurant with spectacular views over the City of London, the River Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral.
Nikki Dibley, a Development Executive at Helical London, commented:
“International sales and marketing for the prime real estate sector will never be the same again. The Boundary Explore is a game-changer for our industry, as we can now offer a significant element of the marketing suite experience to our clients around the world without the need for them to travel.”
Inspired by technology and effects in cinema, and a step ahead of online gaming platforms in terms of hyper-real visual detail, The Boundary Explore is the result of two years of research and development with developer partner VRPM. The software was born in part from the desire to remove the need for uncomfortable and nausea-inducing VR headsets which have held back the market.
Henry Goss, Co-Founder at The Boundary, commented:
“We know from ten years of work with super-prime developers in New York that there is a need for constant innovation in showcasing property in the pre-built phase, and we have spent two years developing The Boundary Explore as a response to that. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the interest in a platform that is as photoreal as cinema but accessible from your phone. With traditional sales galleries across the globe closing their doors for the foreseeable future, the sales and marketing experience is going to change rapidly and The Boundary Explore is at the forefront of that.”
The notion of a virtual tour is not new. However, in the pre-built prime and super-prime residential and commercial sectors, immersive CGI virtual reality (VR) experiences have only been accessible in sales galleries.
This is because until now the only CGI VR technology which truly captures the detail, quality and photorealism expected by clients in the super-prime market has been through hardware-intensive and often prohibitively expensive real-time rendering, meaning it cannot be shared with clients online.
The Boundary Explore goes beyond this to create a seamless, barrierless experience that can be accessed through regular internet connection from anywhere in the world.
The Boundary was founded by award winning architects Peter Guthrie and Henry Goss in 2014. The studio has built an international reputation for pioneering hyper-realistic visualisations, using techniques more familiar to Hollywood studios than architectural visualizers.
The studio has worked with a number of the world’s top architects and designers including seven Pritzker Architecture Prize laureates; Richard Rogers, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano, Richard Meier, Herzog & de Meuron, Álvaro Siza, and Peter Zumthor, and has completed over one hundred major projects in the past four years comprising many thousands of images, animations and virtual reality tours.