One of the biggest selling features of the luxury condominiums occupying Seattle’s iconic high-rise, Spire, is the panoramic views of the city skyline and waterfront from many of the upper-level units. The visual perspective differs slightly among each residence; from the floor-to-ceiling window in one condo, the main attraction might be Mount Baker— in another Puget Sound. The scenery is a key differentiator to prospective buyers— a dealmaker or -breaker— but had been difficult for the property developers to convey during the construction of the forty-two-story, 440-foot-tall building.
Rather than risk losing a sale by leaving the spectacular panorama to the imagination of buyers, the property developers enlisted the help of systems integration firm Wipliance to integrate a visual sales tool into its sales center that would display views from any unit of interest while construction continued. “Many of the units were two or more years from completion,” says Wipliance project manager and systems designer Cameron Alavi. “The developer felt that by showcasing this crucial component buyers would be more inclined to put down a deposit.”
The flexible FlexGlass was much easier to handle and install than a comparable-size rigid screen in a constrained space like this.— Cameron Alavi, Wipliance project manager and systems designer
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Wipliance conceptualized and pitched the idea of a virtual reality window to other developers of other high-rise residences in the past; Spire was the first to bite. A centerpiece of its sales center, the virtual-reality window brings the cityscape to life on a 183-inch Screen Innovations FlexGlass screen. Wipliance chose a screen size similar in dimension to the residences’ actual windows and worked with a local builder to construct a standalone cabinet to seamlessly frame the screen and house an Ultra-Short Throw Epson projector behind the FlexGlass. “The combination of FlexGlass and an Ultra-Short Throw projector was ideal for this application,” says Alavi. “The flexible FlexGlass was much easier to handle and install than a comparable-size rigid screen in a constrained space like this. We were able to house both the projector and screen neatly inside the same cabinet where light is controlled and allows prospective buyers to stand directly in front of the screen to watch the presentation without blocking the projected image.”
Spire sales center visitors use a mobile app to select a condo of interest; recorded footage captured earlier by a drone appears on the screen. Buyers can compare the views from as many units as they want. “This streamlines the purchasing process tremendously; buyers don’t have to wait for construction of the unit to be complete to see what the view is like,” Alavi continues. “We hope this sets a new benchmark for luxury condo sales.” It seems to be working, “Every time we visited the Design Center, there was a broker utilizing the screen for clients and we had several other area developers who had dropped in asked us for our business cards.”
In the meantime, the innovative, custom-built virtual reality-window helped Wipliance get its foot in the door elsewhere at the luxury property. The team installed a 110-inch Black Diamond screen in Spire’s theater room for all residents to enjoy and offers an optional upgrade package that includes motorized SI shades, automation, and home entertainment systems to occupants.
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