09/05/2019No Comments

Punch Infinity – What is it?

 

Punch Infinity - What is it?

At the start of this year we completed Punch Infinity, our interactive configurator, to make it easy for customers to easily allow our clients to visualise products.

In this mini series of blog posts I’ll be answering why, what, how and the future plans by picking the ONE thing that really focused a Punch Infinity into what it has become.

What is Punch Infinity?

Punch Infinity is an interactive configurator that helps businesses show their customers their entire product range or variations, whilst generating leads and to help assist marketing and sales.

Often customers can’t envisage different products, variations or finishes, especially when they're only presented with tiny swatches, sample pots or thumbnail images.

You could think of Punch Infinity as an interactive photo, where customers can interact, change and visualise entire product ranges, colours variations and finishes.

Enabling customers visualise their choices is great for customer confidence, which can lead to enquiries and sales.

But Punch Infinity isn’t just pretty and easy to use, it’s also incredibly functional. Punch Infinity can drive enquiries, help build a social following, and assist staff with their sales, but we'll dig into that in a moment.

What is an interactive configurator?

In a nutshell, an interactive configurator is a way for users to visually change and configure a product or product range.

You might use an interactive configurator to help you choose something such as a car or kitchen. A product might be available in different, styles, finishes, colours or components and so on and an interactive configurator could help you to visualise what you're planning to buy.

Interactive configurators aren't generally design tools. You can't re-design a car, or move kitchen cabinets around. For this kind of thing you need a specific piece of software to build the components. These "builder" tools generally lack visual quality (although I'm 100% sure in a few years they'll be near "photo-realistic" in quality). Design tools, unlike interactive configurators, can also be time consuming and require a certain level of knowledge of the thing you're building, and knowledge of the software itself. They're great for making sure you're kitchen will fit, but not great for marketing a product range.

How does Punch Infinity show different products?

We developed Punch Infinity to allow any business to easily show any product range or variation.

Punch Infinity is a system. What's shown in the configurator is completely up to you. In our demos you can see a kitchen, office chair and bathroom set. These all use Punch Infinity, but the imagery is bespoke to that configurator.

For example, if you are a bathroom retailer, chances are you'd want to have a room set that reflects your style, and of course your own products. We can create a bespoke digital room set using our CGI expertise, populate it with your products and create a configurator for your product range.

So, what's Punch Infinity's ONE Thing?

Our ethos is always to make anything we do as easy as possible, whether that's for the end user or our clients. Punch Infinity has been designed, tested, developed (numerous times!) to make the experience as easy and as simple as possible.

And that's been Punch Infinity's the ONE thing.

Punch Infinity had to be easy to use. It doesn't matter how fancy the visuals are or how in-depth the functions are, if people can't use it then it's failed.

Without ease of use, customers can't feel confident in their choices and are less likely to enquire or make a purchase.

What Makes Punch Infinity Different?

Firstly, Punch Infinity is readily available to anyone. Businesses don't have to develop (and pay) for a new configurator. Hiring programmers and developers can be very time consuming and costly (trust me on this!). Punch Infinity is ready to go. We create and upload the CGI imagery, and that's it. No programming or technical input required!

We've also made sure that Punch Infinity works on most modern devices, such as PCs, iPads and smartphones. Accessibility was also high on our priority list when creating Punch Infinity.

Punch Infinity has great functions too, such as save, share, print and enquire built in. These functions make it easier for customers and sales folk to continue down the route to a purchase. Detailed product information can also be shown too, without leaving the configurator.

Summary

Punch Infinity is an easy to use, accessible interactive configurator, available for any business selling a product range, or products with variations.

It's an ideal lead generation too, giving confidence to customers by ditching out dated swatches and thumbnails.

The built in functions make sure it's not only visually great, but also very practical with you marketing and sales.

If you have any questions, queries or think Punch Infinity could be suitable for your marketing, then get in touch.

Next in the blog series

Punch Infinity - Why? (Coming soon).

Punch Infinity - How? (Coming soon).

Punch Infinity - The Future (Coming soon).

 

Dean

24/03/2015No Comments

Digital Room Sets Will Never Be Built

"Digital room sets will never be built."

This is a realisation I had whilst working on a current digital room set project, and it's not something I've ever thought about before. With architectural visualisations and product CGIs, the purpose of a 3D visualisation is to preview or to sell something, that one day will become real. A CGI of a building is pretty good representation of how the end architecture will look, and so estate agents can sell the house before it's built. The same goes for products. These things will be built, and I love seeing the real thing, and then comparing the digital to the real.

Room sets though will never be built. The products that sit in the digital rooms may one day be manufactured and sold, some might even be available now, but the room will never exist, and it's almost certain to say that the exact configuration of a kitchen or bedroom shown within a CGI is very unlikely to be exactly replicated.

Digital room sets are entirely 3D polygons, computer generated textures, and simulated lighting. Wooden beams, or a stone chimney breast are only pixels, with little consideration is often made to whether these architectural features would be strong enough, durable, or even possible in reality. So long as they look correct and give the impression of realism, then that's usually as far as the design will go.

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An alpine digital room set to visualise bi-folding door.

By removing the need for these room sets to be built, we can allow ourselves to build digital room sets which might not exist in reality. The 3D room set used in the Student Mattress Room Set Project doesn't exist in reality, but it could. However by removing the constraint of the room needing to the accurate, strong, and true to technical aspects such as building regulations, the temptation can be to create something un-realistic.

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A student digital room set created to visualise a new mattress.

With 3D there are no size or design constraints, we can make rooms as large, unusual, wacky as we feel. This can sometimes be a mistake. For example, with the student room set, we could have easily made the set 10m wide, with elaborate architectural detail, modern furniture, and so on, but it would have quickly not looked like a student room at all. Yes the furniture we added is slightly unusual, and the room is perhaps more elaborate that the student rooms I remember from my University days, but it's still believable, it could be made like this. I believe this balancing act is key to creating a great interior digital room set. Realistic 3D models, materials and lighting only work well if the design and architecture is spot on to begin with. As I've said already, structural and other constraints don't apply in 3D CGI projects a literal sense, but they do apply in a believable sense.

There is the other side of the coin with to the lack of constraints, and this is we as artists and designers have total freedom to create what we want. If you want to show your product on the edge of a volcano, or even on the moon, then CGI and 3D magic can make these possible, at a tiny fraction of the cost of doing it in real life.

Digital room sets can also be stored away on tiny hard drives, archived for later use, amends, or new products. There's no need to de-construct the set, and there are no time limits on how long a set can stay constructed for. Digital room sets can also be quickly changed, re-styled, and given a new look very quickly. Check out the interactive applications over at the interactive page to see more about how interactive applications can be used in conjunction with digital room sets.

Anyway, I'm straying from my original point slightly. To the average viewer, a digital room set may look no different to a traditional, photographed room set, and I guess that's why digital room sets prove popular with clients and customers. My point is that for all the design, styling and virtual construction work, the sets are merely polygons and pixels, and will never be built, touched or experienced in the real world.

 

Digital room sets will never be built....

....and this makes me sad....

....but I think I'll be OK!

 

Dean

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PUNCH DIGITAL

Punch Digital Services Ltd

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Peel Walker
11 Victoria Road
Elland
HX5 0AE

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