Floorplans and renderings might give you a few fast facts, but sometimes your imagination stalls and it’s hard to tell exactly how a new space will look. For those of us who have a hard time envisioning flat drawings in 3D, new technology from NORM LI Architectural Graphics + Illustrations will help make new spaces much more real.

Liquid Interactive Systems and Peek Augmented Reality were launched late last month in Toronto. We dropped by the event feting their arrival to see how the new imaging technology works.

While 3D renderings and fly-through videos have cropped up in the marketing material in countless new projects, Liquid Interactive Systems is different. Combining 3D architectural models with real-time technology, it lets the user choose where they want to go and what they want to see via a multi-touch screen.

Instead of just taking in a a stock-still community rendering, you can zoom in on a neighbourhood and step directly inside a new mall or condo and explore from there.

Liquid has been adopted in the presentation centre of the new Remington Centre coming to Markham. The 800,000-square foot mall is a little hard to get a full grasp of via images or even a fly-through video if you want specifics. If you’re hoping to lease a particular spot in the mega-mall, Liquid will help you see just how far you’ll be from the doors, the food court or exits.

The technology has also been embraced by the Deloitte Office Tower in Montreal. Meaning if you want to rent office space in the building, you can not only see the view from your office window, the elevator and lobby, but navigate local streets to get to local attractions such as hotels and transit. It’s kind of like Google Street view, but for architectural renderings.

Norm Li Liquid

Touring the Remington Centre in Markham via a touchsreen

Norm Li Deloitte

Looking to lease office space at the Deloitte Tower? You won’t have to guess what your view will look like

The company also celebrated the launch of Peek, an app that takes a lot of the guess work out of interior design. It turns an online catalogue into a virtual showroom by letting users snap pictures of a space and then add and move images of furniture, artwork, lighting – anything they need to picture in the space. In other words, you can snap a pic of your living room and see if that armchair you’ve been eying will go with your sofa – without having to lug the furniture home.

Peek Norm Li

Party-goers play around with Peek.

We’ll be watching to see whether the new imaging tech will pop up in more sales centres in the future.

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