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Trade shows are a powerful way to increase a company’s visibility and generate warm leads. It’s a big business, with billions spent every year. To make the most of your trade show experience, you need a stand-out exhibit. But with so many people crowded in the same space, what works? At ExhibitorLive in Las Vegas, everyone was talking about virtual reality. The ONU team exhibited our VR solutions, and the response was tremendous. Virtual reality has so many applications for nearly every vertical. Here’s three types of companies that can maximize their trade show presence with VR.  


Brands Can Show Off Products In Virtual Reality

If you’re going to a trade show to sell a physical product, bring your inventory along in virtual reality as well. ONU’s VR platform is revolutionary for products designed in CAD. Our pipeline makes quick work of converting polygon-heavy files into usable formats. (If you don’t use CAD, our team can still move anything into a virtual world.) Leverage the investment you made in CAD with a VR experience for sales and marketing. Other benefits include the high level of interactivity. Say you make large machinery – like the water filter we brought to the show. A simple swipe of the hand explodes the entire system. Guests can walk around inside your product to scale. VR defies the limits of the physical world.  


Booth Fabricators Can Build and Collaborate In Virtual Reality

Trade show booths offer unlimited opportunity for creativity. They’re blank canvases to help companies tell their product story. Like those products, booths are often designed in CAD as well. ONU’s proprietary software allows for real-time rendering to show different configurations. A basic CAD-based showroom is enhanced with different types of carpet, lighting, furniture. In virtual reality, customers can build a custom world, filled with interactive models. If the client is located outside of your headquarters, VR becomes even more useful. With our collaborative technology, people can jump in the same virtual scene from anywhere in the world. This extends to the trade show floor, as well. Invite prospects that aren’t attending to experience your booth virtually.  


Agencies Can Take Branding To The Next Level With Virtual Reality

Agencies embraced virtual reality early on. They know and understand the value of new technology that generates buzz. VR is now a component of the total brand strategy. VR allows for total immersion in a company’s products. It’s unlike any other traditional form of marketing. Virtual reality also allows for an edge when it comes to personalization. The Chevy Camaro we brought to ExhibitorLive changed colors by throwing paint swatches. Building a custom car increases emotional engagement and brand loyalty. It’s also an all-around attention grabber. People love sharing videos of their colleagues trying out a virtual reality experience. Extend the reach beyond the trade show itself.   Brands, booth fabricators or agencies will all benefit from ONU’s virtual reality technology. Contact us to learn more and get started.  

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Booth sizes. Freight shipping. Furniture rentals. Oh, and did you want carpet? It costs extra. Sound familiar? You’ve done trade shows countless times and know the routine. But what if there was at least one aspect of a show where you could save money, time and space?

ONU’s Virtual Reality platform can have a huge impact on your bottom line for exhibiting. That’s because ONU’s software leverages your existing files. Instead of keeping product designs confined to the computer, move them into any digital space. ONU’s pipeline delivers products into mobile apps, on the web for e-commerce and into virtual and augmented realities.

This is because ONU is first and foremost a 3D visualization platform. Like many other SaaS products, the advantages of a full platform include a backend, analytics and user control of content. Instead of using photos or clunky animations, ONU creates beautiful 3D representations of products that are customizable and interactive. Anything can go into digital space, from shoes to sporting goods, cars or large-scale machinery.

And speaking of space and time: VR defies the limits. Why choose what to pack when you go to your next show? Bring your entire inventory in the space of a suitcase. Do you make large pieces of machinery or equipment? Fit them into a 10’x10′ booth space. How about a car? No problem. Everything in the experience is to scale.

It’s not just viewing products, though. You can also interact with them. Animations include operating equipment, swapping colors or textures to customize in real time, and fully exploded views (like a diagram) so you can show off all the nuts and bolts.

But seriously, it gets even better: invite people to participate from anywhere in the world. With ONU’s new multi-user functionality, people can join the virtual reality environment live! All they need is a smartphone and mobile VR viewer, like the Samsung Gear VR. People can either be passive – watching what’s going on – or active, and take control themselves. Invite every contact you have to your next show, and if they can’t make it, send them a Gear VR.

We can’t help with the carpet, but we do have a few tricks that will save money and make you stand out on a crowded show floor – and beyond.

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Digital assets. They are the primary format for everything we create. Photos, videos, documents, models – we work on them individually and collaboratively and need to access them in a variety of ways. There are a lot of systems that sort and organize our files, but the general idea is the same: we need a software program that makes sense of our stuff.

Beyond simply organizing, what if these systems could do more? What if they could truly move design assets into multiple platforms, with minimal work for the user? The definition of digital asset management is a way to organize information that emphasizes encryption, asset permissions and redundancy (backup copies). Other key features include secure storage, a searchable content management system (CMS) and an easy way to move content outside of the system. DAMs can be local or cloud-based, which is known as DAM SaaS (Software as a Service).

Digital assets are created in a single platform for multiple uses. And often, exporting to a similar-but-slightly-different file type isn’t enough. Recent advancements in WebGL, smartphones and virtual reality created a demand to move those assets onto these new platforms.
ONU created ONU One, a 3D visualization platform, to address these demands. With ONU One, design files move easily through a pipeline to be exported to use anywhere in full 3D. Our proprietary algorithms lower the density of CAD or other large files – without lowering the quality.



Because of the reduced polygons, ONU One can optimize and deliver, for example, a FBX file into virtual reality or augmented reality in 3D. Real-time rendering allows for total interactivity, super-quick performance and photorealism. Our platform integrates with game engines like Unity and Unreal, and works on the web with e-commerce platforms like Magento and Shopify. Easy access to these 3D assets means your team can create 3D presentations for use in sales and marketing. Adobe found 91% of online shoppers want to turn products 360 degrees and zoom on any perspective.

Interactivity like this increases emotional engagement, which in turn builds brand loyalty. And with ONU One’s powerful customizer anyone can make your own version – try it with
Xenith Helmets! It’s easy to see how 3D visualization communicates a product’s features and differentiators in any format. A 3D visualization platform is, in essence, the most accurate, interactive and cost-effective way to showcase your products. How did you ever live without one?

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Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 7.49.56 AM.pngTechnology continues pushing the capabilities of e-commerce forward. So what should online sellers focus on adopting next year? From the mobile takeover to custom products and the dawn of v-commerce, ONU One covers B2B & B2C on desktop & mobile. Oh, and there’s a customizer. Did we mention the customizer? Yeah, you’re definitely going to want this customizer. Here’s why adding 3D visualization to e-commerce should be at the top of your 2017 list.


B2B and E-Commerce

B2B online retail will see an estimated $12 trillion in sales by 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan. The volume of transactions is different for B2B compared to B2C, but strategies overlap. Especially with product-focused B2B enterprise, like OEMs, customers need straightforward views of complex products. ONU One’s 3D visualization platform optimizes CAD data to make products look their best online. Another major factor in the B2B e-commerce growth is mobile ordering. Internet Retailer shows how mobile is on everyone’s minds. Mobile is creating massive opportunities for e-commerce everywhere, not just with B2B. And with a great mobile experience, comes the need for a great responsivity.   


So Responsive on Mobile
 

E-commerce spending edged out brick-and-mortar in the last quarter, according to UPS’ annual Pulse of the Online Shopper survey. And within those groundbreaking online sales, mobile saw huge gains – 25%, to be exact. So more people are shopping online, and more of them are converting right on their smartphone. What does this mean for e-commerce? First, make sure your site is mobile-friendly for search engine ranking and optimization (here’s Google’s tool to check). Second, ensure any software you use is responsive. ONU One’s web embed is responsive, scaling to the size of any screen and operating lightning fast. Third, consider how important responsiveness is for customer experience.  


Better Customer Experience

While online sales hit record numbers this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Gallup reports that technical difficulties – like unresponsive sites – lead to more disengaged customers. And not just disengaged, but antagonistic towards the offending brand! So how does a company capture the massive mobile market without frustrating its customer base out of existence? By using a smart and effective platform like ONU One. The customer experience is revolutionary: fast, intuitive and responsive. Try it for yourself on our client Xenith’s website. If you didn’t click to try it, here’s a spoiler: you can also make your own custom helmet. Because what do more and more consumers want? Custom everything.  


Customize Everything

The Census Bureau tells us there are more Millennials than Boomers. What else do we know about this large market share? They expect custom products. It isn’t just this on-demand, personalized generation that wants custom options, though. A Bain survey found that 30% of all consumers are interested in trying a customized option. We’re seeing market proliferation of customizers, with varying degrees of success. Major shoe brands like Van’s and Nike offer custom items. If you really want to go all out, build your own Ford Mustang. Customizers are implemented with varying degrees of usability right now. Customizers should enhance the online experience, increase customer engagement and deliver a product with an emotional connection. But they often fall short of these goals. Don’t forget – frustrating experiences online can actually make customers disengage completely.  


Better Product Views

It isn’t good enough to see the custom build on a layered PSD file, or click through four clunky images that don’t show the whole product. We already know that products with 360 degree spins increase conversions, and that 91% of online shoppers want to be able to turn products 360 degrees and zoom at any angle. ONU One has this covered. Don’t forget about e-commerce expanding into the virtual space, becoming v-commerce. There’s ample room for ancillary experiences in virtual reality (VR) for retail. What we’ve seen so far has largely used 360 video in a passive environment. ONU One’s platform can put the products themselves in a VR environment, and make them interactable. This means opening up parts of products or exploding the whole thing to look inside. It takes ONU One’s online customizer and moves it into virtual reality for a truly futuristic – and engaging – shopping experience.

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Last week, Business Leaders for Michigan held their fifth annual CEO Summit. This day-long event drew an enormous crowd from all the major Michigan industries: healthcare and banking to automotive and education. This year, BLM focused on some timely topics. The speakers discussed disruption, innovation, emergent technology and competing in a global economy. Here’s our Top 5 Takeaways from the day. Team ONU had an amazing time and can’t wait for next year!



Our very own CEO, Sam Sesti, spoke to one of the key concepts: differentiators. With an ever crowded marketplace, what are the tools companies need to succeed? How do you communicate loudly over the roar of competition? One way is with 3D visualization: engage your customers emotionally and give them an interactive, custom experience with your products. Sam said, though, it might not just be one way – it is the way. Fairly soon, all marketing, sales, service and training will be done using 3D visualization.





Even pizza companies are technology companies. CEO Patrick Doyle spoke about how most of their commercials aren’t about the product, but about how tech delivers it. Have you ordered a pizza with an app yet? What about via emoji? It’s time. Disrupt your Friday night dinner. 🍕  


 
Steelcase CEO – and gamer! – Jim Keane spoke about how office furniture design is influenced by technology. His optimistic vision of the future of workspaces is one where people are no longer tethered to any particular location. Steelcase also uses virtual reality so clients can understand relationships between furniture and architecture.
And, with the Internet of Things, offices will be as smart as the people who work in them.  

These are words to live by. Make a desktop wallpaper, write it on a white board, tattoo it on your arm. If everything around you is changing rapidly, staying the same automatically makes you obsolete. This isn’t about failure, though – many tech leaders talk about the importance of failing fast. Taking risks was central not only to this talk, but embedded into the overall day. What makes this field so exciting and challenging is the opportunity to always push forward and innovate. The real risk is taking no risk at all.

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Cars: we need them, we love them, we customize them. Buying a car is just the beginning – opportunities abound for components. From rims to seats to strut bars, nearly every part can be swapped out to make a car truly yours. (Don’t forget those colorways – anodized titanium shift knobs, anyone?) Car enthusiasts spend hours researching, obsessing, drooling over aftermarket parts. SEMA’s 2016 report highlights the massive market that is this $39 billion dollar industry. And Hedges & Company estimates that of that, $7.4 billion is spent online, with ecommerce seeing a 16% increase this year. So, those sweet 20” rims? They need to look just as good online as they will on your ride. Hedges & Co. also reports that desktop searching is down for tire and wheel searches, with mobile growing by 20%. So a responsive website is critical for ecommerce.  

You can’t have images that load poorly, don’t scale to screen sizes, or remain static. Consumers need to interact and understand the nuances in this crowded market for your company to truly differentiate.
Enter ONU One. It’s the only 3D product visualization platform. There’s no flat 2D photography with ONU One. The depth of 3D shows customers the entire product.

Rotate and zoom to maximize visibility on small screens; or even explode a component with many parts to understand functionality.
This smart software is optimized for the web and mobile. Our custom, branded mobile app makes your inventory available anywhere, on demand – even offline. The app is made to deploy to a salesforce or for quick demos during trade shows. The web viewer fits easily into your site, and is used in concert with Shopify or any other ecommerce platform.

On both platforms, total customization is possible. All of your products, with all of the options, are available on demand. Change colors, either of the entire item, or swap out choices on certain parts. Isolation views allow for exploring fine details. Swapping textures? No problem. Check out that racing seat in cloth or carbon fiber.Optional hotspots can call out important information, whether through text, video or links to PDFs. Add instruction manuals, explainer videos – anything important about your line. There is so much knowledge required in the automotive industry, everyone can use a little reminder.  

There still isn’t anything as impressive as showing your products on an actual car, but that isn’t always possible. Bringing something that large to a trade show or sales meeting is expensive and impractical. The next best thing, though, is virtual reality. ONU One can optimize anything, and place it in a VR environment that fits in a small space. See how we did that at TEDxDetroit here. Are you going to SEMA next week? So are we! Say hi to Team ONU and tell us what custom features you need for your company. If you won’t be there, contact us to get the most important tool in your box for effortless automotive ecommerce.

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So that trade show is coming up. Or another sales meeting. Maybe it’s a pitch for seed funding. But your product is big. Like, it’s big, as in, it’s amazing, but it’s also large. A car? An enormous tractor? There’s no way you can bring that inside a convention center, or into a boardroom.

How will you show your potential customers all of the features without physically bringing them into your facility? Or get them as excited as you are about that groundbreaking new concept still in the prototype phase? “But wait!” you say. “I saw something that could do all of that at TEDx Detroit last week!”

If you weren’t at TEDx Detroit, you may think that made-up person speaking out of turn in this blog post is mistaken. No such magic exists. But then what was everyone in line waiting for? A glimpse of the sorcery that is the combination of 3D visualization with virtual reality. ONU One teamed up with PIXO Group to develop an experience that would wow the audience at TEDx, and it didn’t disappoint.

People gathered and patiently waited (more than an hour in some cases) to try this completely new and innovative experience. ONU One’s 3D visualization was designed for use on tablets, mobile phones and web browsers. By combining the platform with virtual reality, those 3D models aren’t limited by screen size anymore: they’re now as large as life.

Participants put on an HTC Vive headset and grabbed the controller to explore something never seen before. They were able to experience a car. The model, originating from CAD data, appeared in virtual space to scale. That is to say, when standing next to the car, it was like standing next to an actual car. Looking at the car was only the beginning. The audience was able to actually step inside. And if stepping inside a virtual car isn’t enough, how about exploding it? No, not like blowing it up – that would be cruel – but experiencing an exploded view. Walking around inside all of the nuts and bolts of a complex piece of machinery is something that cannot be duplicated outside of virtual reality. 


VR is ripe for development in enterprise. Industries that specialize in large products like robotics or construction equipment could see a huge benefit from this technology. But we aren’t biased against the smaller guys, either – maybe you want to fill a virtual space with a variety of products, like a digital showroom. And for startups, if your invention requires funding to get into production, showing off the prototype in interactive VR will communicate your vision better than any other type of presentation.

So there you have it – it isn’t magic, just science. Dust off those CAD files and let ONU take them out of the computer and into virtual reality. A small computer and a headset are infinitely more portable than large products. Plus, it’s insanely impressive.

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It’s so frustrating when you’re shopping online, checking out different angles of this epic new shoe, when you realize you can’t see the sole. Or when you want a closer look at the textures of that sweet new breathable athletic material, only for the zoom to be constrained to a tiny thumbnail. Argh!  

The Online Views Blues Such is shopping online. We can’t see the full features of products or inspect them like we can in a store. But the vast majority of consumers research online before buying – sometimes even while they’re in the store, according to Synchrony Financial. And while e-commerce as a whole has undergone tremendous growth, what about transformation? So far the best solution is some type of photography, with 360 degree product photography coming in as the reigning champ. But there is an underdog waiting to jump into the ring – and that champion will transform the experience for companies and their customers.      

What Is 360 Product Photography? It is, much like it sounds, a 360 degree view of a product. Said product is placed on a platform, that spins as a DSLR captures dozens of images, which are then compiled by a team of designers. And edited. And retouched. If there’s anything in the photos that shouldn’t be – say, a speck of dust – the process begins again. It’s time-consuming, expensive and high-maintenance. So why does anyone go through this process? So why do a lot of companies go through this? Because it’s the status quo, and it takes a fierce challenger to create change.  

The Competitor ONU One skips the massive infrastructure and goes straight to the source: the design files themselves. Our platform uses your existing CAD or scan data to show your products in hyper-real 3D. It’s easier and more efficient than any possible combination of photographs. Even if it wasn’t better, faster and cheaper, there’s the end user to consider. The customer has total control over the interaction. No longer limited to the views that were captured, they can explore everything, via zoom, rotate and exploded views.  

After using ONU One, you’ll find yourself wishing it was everywhere:

“Why can I only see that cell phone from a few angles?”
“You mean I have to actually go to a store before I purchase this?”
“It’s not rotating! It’s not…. Oh wait. No ONU *sad face*.”
 – Actual quotes taken from people who genuinely love ONU and may or may not work here.

There’s more options for customization, but we’ll cover that in a future post. In the meantime, visit Xenith Helmets to try changing features and functionality on-the-fly.  

The Title Belt Goes To… ONU One. What are you waiting for? You should put money on this fight. It’s only a matter of time before 360 product photography finds itself on the receiving end of a knockout. And we, as consumers of many things, can’t wait.

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The ubiquity of online shopping presents manufacturers with the opportunity to showcase their products with a high degree of accuracy and realism. Xenith, the industry-leading football helmet manufacturer, partnered with ONU to deliver an 3D interactive product solution to their eCommerce platform.   Founded in 2014, ONU’s flagship product is ONU One, a 3D visualization platform that turns existing CAD data into interactive product presentations. ONU One takes CAD files and adds colors, textures, and lighting to build a lifelike, interactive representation of any product. What began as a mobile app for iOS or Android devices, ONU reached out to Clara.io in order to provide the web-based viewing solution for eCommerce Xenith required.

Xenith manufactures industry-leading football helmets; they offer a multitude of customization options on their products, from colors to different elements, like the facemask and chin cup. With so many options to choose from, the ability to see the final product online in rich detail is a huge service to the consumer.

Xenith wanted ONU to provide the infrastructure to accomplish real-time, 3D viewing during web ordering. The process of taking CAD data and transforming it into something for the web isn’t straightforward. First, models must be optimized for use online. ONU created the API for the customization functionality, to be able to change the color of different parts or replace parts with different ones. Once models have been prepared for online use, they need to be embedded online. Clara.io was the final piece to move Xenith’s helmets from CAD data to photorealistic, interactive 3D models.

Clara.io, is the wildly popular full-featured online 3D editing and viewing tool created by Exocortex, which allows users to create, animate, and render 3D content. ONU One relies on the Clario.io player to enable customers to interact with the helmet models.

The groundwork functionality is the Clara.io player, which Exocortex exposed to ONU One through their REST API. ONU One leverages the strengths of Clara.io’s web viewer to make Xenith’s products interactive and customizable in 3D. And when customizations were needed, Clara.io was very receptive.

In addition to changing features on the helmet, ONU created an explodable animation. This allows the consumer to explore the layers and detail that is put into each helmet — a view of the inner workings otherwise not visible without ONU One. Xenith has the highest rating for safety, and this important market differentiator is now an interactive feature integrated into their eCommerce.

As a result of this success, ONU is building a pipeline between Clara.io and ONU One to push CAD into Clara.io to prepare it for ONU One. Eventually, the seamless process from CAD models into Clara.io straight into ONU One’s mobile app would allow for a quick turnaround with less effort.

Working with Clara.io helped ONU to create an entirely new product that is now a powerful solution for eCommerce providers that wants to deliver a highly-realistic experience to their valued customers. Read our Ultimate Guide to Your Products in 3D on the Web for complete guide to creating 3D web experiences.

 

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