Through the Eyes of the Consumer

ERV an Eco3d Product

For the past few years everyone has been talking about the rise of e-commerce. Economic ‘Experts’ often forecast the upcoming demise of brick and mortar retail locations and how the days of traveling to stores to make physical transactions are numbered. There is no doubt e-commerce is affecting brick and mortar retail, but from our clients perspective it’s not in the way you might think. Big box retailers, today more than ever, are re-investing back into their brick and mortar locations in hopes of recreating the wheel and revamping the customer experience. In today’s tech driven world, in-store purchases still account for 90% of consumer spending transactions (according to U.S. Census data). That statistic alone may be the reason retailers’ are doubling down on investments into their brick and mortar locations.

The race amongst competitors now is to re-imagine existing store layouts to create new next generation store designs that make shopping easier and inspire the customer to continue shopping in person. Owners are well aware that brick and mortar locations are still a key asset in developing an omni-channel experience for its clientele. So where does the owner, architect, designer, engineer, etc. start in the pursuit of creating this enhanced “experience”? The answer to that question may be subjective, however, I would argue that you first need to understand the existing conditions of any given brick and mortar retail location. The understanding of what currently exists will aid the project team in numerous ways such as creating initial designs, establishing project budgets, estimating the scope of work, forecasting project schedules, etc. If only there were a way to virtually tour the ins and outs of any brick and mortar location without physically being onsite…

That’s where Eco3d comes into play! In an effort to virtually document existing conditions in an organized and easy-to-use interface, Eco3d created ERV (Eco Reality Viewer), a 360° image viewer, to provide our clients with a comprehensive understanding of any given space through the EYES of the CONSUMER.


What is ERV? The Basics…

ERV in essence is an inclusive web based remote virtual site visit consisting of high resolution 360° photos captured throughout an existing location. The 360° images captured by our trained technicians are linked to 2D floor plans or aerial maps. Images linked within an ERV deliverable can be terrestrial, aerial or infrared. Clients can customize the ERV interface and select which images they would like captured on-site on a store by store basis. The hosted viewer can be accessed from the convenience of your desk anywhere in the world. Construction documents, lease agreements, warranties, service manuals, etc. can also be embedded within the ERV deliverable to help simplify document storage. Below are some examples of the various 360° bubble images that can be included within any ERV interface. Within each bubble image you have the ability to zoom-in/out and rotate the image 360 horizontally and vertically to create the customized viewpoint needed.

Terrestrial 360° Images
Terrestrial images can be captured throughout interior, exterior and roof areas of a given location. The elevation the image is captured at is typically eye-level but it can be adjust due to the client’s preference and existing conditions. The image below shows the interior of a multi-level department store.


Ariel 360° Images
Ariel images can be captured anywhere where there are no FAA Airspace Restrictions. Images are captured by certified pilots. Ariel images are a great way to understand roof layouts, parking/site conditions, existing landscaping, etc. The image below shows the solar panel layout on top of a large retail store.


Infrared 360° Images
Infrared images allow you to see into the darkness of the interstitial space to understand existing structural, mechanical, fire protection, etc. layouts and configurations. As long as the interstitial space can be accessed through ceiling tiles, access panels, etc. these images can be captured. Images like this are extremely challenging to capture traditionally because there is no light source in most interstitial spaces. Below is an example of an infrared 360° image captured within the interstitial spaces.

Leveraging Technology

With ERV anyone in the world can view any documented space through not only the eyes of the consumer but also through the eyes of the managers, employees, delivery drivers, maintenance technicians, etc. It provides you with the ability to be in two places at the same time. The value this collaboration tool has provided our clients is the reason why Eco3d has been trusted time and time again to virtually document existing conditions. This tool expedites the understanding of what you currently have to provide the foundation for creating the next generation store design envisioned.

Another benefit of ERV is that the image data can be updated as site conditions change throughout the construction/remodel process which eliminates the high costs and inconveniences of returning to a particular location for additional data.

About Eco3d
Eco3d is the largest digital as-built service provider in North America, serving clients in the architecture, engineering and construction industry. We provide accurate data capture and 2D/3D digital representations of all project types, including hospitality, office, retail, healthcare, entertainment, industrial, public assembly and the arts, forensics and high purity.

Written by Sean Spisak

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