In November, Pilothouse Real Estate launched their In-Real Theatre technology in the sales centre of the New Westminster development, 258 on 6th. This development was a bit of a flash in the pan, considering it sold out in about 42 minutes. But what resonated in the real estate world was the groundbreaking Pilothouse technology.
Their In-Real Theatre offered prospective buyers a comprehensive and immersive experience that no other sales centre could match. Prospective buyers could walk through 258’s floor plans as they were projected on the floor in the same size and scale that the condo would be in real life. There were lines where the bathtub would be on the floor and where the closet would be positioned in the finished condo. Best of all, every detail was to scale!
Using nine computers and sixteen projectors working in concert, Pilothouse turned the cavernous on-site tent into something unique. It got the real estate world buzzing and garnered the company some well-deserved attention.
Naturally, this piqued our curiosity and we needed the full story on the genesis of the creative project. We called up Bill Morrison, a partner at the BC-based Pilothouse and he explained the origins of the In-Real Theatre technology.
He told us that the idea was borne out of the need to showcase multiple suites while not having the budget to actually build several show suites.
“We were racking our brains on what would be the best way to go about this,” he says.
“One of the thoughts was that we’ve been dealing with artist’s renditions for some time now and they’ve been getting better and better — sometimes you can’t tell the difference between a rendition and an actual photo. We were looking at this and thinking of our sales centre that we’d built in this massive tent on-site. We thought that we’d be able to project some of that imagery onto the wall. We thought could we possibly take an artist’s rendition and shoot it on the wall and then take an entire room and do it this way. This is where it started. As we moved along, we realized there were some limitations in size, shape and budget, so then we came up with the concept of taking the floor plans and shooting them from the ceiling down onto the floor to scale.”
The development of this technology didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of testing to overcome issues like light pollution and shadows getting in the way of the projections.
“There are sixteen projectors in the ceiling shooting down onto the floor and each overlap so if you walk through the show suite, your body won’t block the floor plans,” explains Morrison.
To enhance the experience, the Pilothouse team sent out photographers to capture images of the surrounding area to project on the walls.
“We went to neighbouring buildings and we took 24 hour view shots — east, west, north, south — and then we actually have that playing on the walls. You can stand in the living room and actually see your view,” says Morrison.
The project was a hit and the In-Real Theatre received a very warm reception. At one point a potential buyer came to the sales centre with full-sized cardboard cutouts of her furniture to place in the floor plan projections. You can’t do that with a virtual tour online!
To take the immersive experience even further, Morrison explains that Pilothouse has new plans for future iterations.
“In the next iteration, through drag and drop technology, you’ll be able to move furniture around,” he says. “Since the projectors are in colour, people will also be able to change the colour scheme.”
These folks are definitely on to something and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next. According to Morrison, this tech is the first of its kind and, unless you know of a company in Paris or Tokyo doing the same thing, we’re inclined to believe him. The (sales centre) future is now and things are about to get a lot more interesting.