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Adding 3D virtual reality to your sales kit

Caption - The Water and the seal are realistic animations in this image from a BBC production

Imagine having the power to conjure up 3D images of a 50 ton train, life-sized wild animals, the blue print for a city of the future or almost anything you wanted with the simple click of a mouse.

Entrepreneur Leigh Taylor offers corporate clients the magic of a three dimensional (3D) experience with his three-year-old company, Tri Axis Animation (http://triaxisanim.com/).

3D animation applications open new doors in the world of animation. Utilising computer graphics, drawings take on a life of their own. This innovative technology uses computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video or graphics and the result is a digitally enhanced real life experience.

“This kind of animation gives customers a lot of depth. When used in architectural animation, customers get the chance to see a realistic version of the finished productbeforehand,” said Taylor. “It’s very interactive and engaging compared to the other forms of media. Clients actually get to evoke emotions from the customer and that’s one of the biggest factors in selling your product.”

Tri Axis Animation partners with Total Immersion, an augmented reality company in France and specialises in architectural visualizations and broadcast and motion graphics. Augmented reality was recently added to his impressive repertoire of tech savvy offerings.

Taylor, who has used the technology in projects for several corporate clients locally and regionally, says while it is relatively uncommon in Trinidad and Tobago, internationally, the technology has taken offin areas such as marketing, fashion and education with an increasing number of providers entering the global market.

American sunglasses company Ray-Bans uses a Virtual Mirror Internet app to give customers an augmented reality experience of virtually trying on the latest styles of eye wear. Customers with a web camera see their own images wearing the sunglasses and can take pictures of their spectacled image.

Last year, Japanese publishing company, Tokyo Shoseki, produced textbooks that support augmented reality applications on smartphones. The technology brings the characters to life makinglearning easier, more interactive and funfor students.

Taylor says any smartphone customer can get the augmented reality experience and view the application’s magic literally in the palm of their hands. In fact, Taylor frequently uses his bmobile smartphone to create and test out his animations and connect with clients.

“All of my files are digitally delivered so I upload them to drop box or through email which allows me to access them anywhere that has an internet connection,” he explained.

“So even when I'm not in front of my computer, I can go into the drop box on my bmobile phone and use 4G access to send the file to the customer. It’s very convenient and saves a lot of time. That accessibility really works for me.”

Here at home, Taylor foresees the cutting-edge technology working well in just about any sector, especially tourism. The application, he explained, is a creative tool which can be used with maps to give visitors a more vivid picture of tourist attractions and places of interest, such as rivers, swamps and waterfalls.

“It will allow them to see these landmarks in 3D and get an idea for the sites before they even visit them,” he said. With new technologies being developed at breakneck speed, Taylor says local companies need to get on board or get left behind.

The tangible benefits of augmented reality for local businesses are many.

Taylor says the application creates a real world superimposed with virtual images in real time allowing for interactive marketing opportunities as customers see the product in a more realistic form. Three dimensionalaugmented reality, he says, can also drive social media campaigns and be seamlessly integrated with social media networks; an area of increasing importance to the way in which brands communicate digitally to customers.

Technology experts assert that the ability to virtually try on a product, take a photograph wearing the product, and immediately post it on a social media web site or simply send the image to friends, is a powerful way of replicating brand ideas and product reach.

The simple math is: more customers equal more sales.