Dynamic Duo Join Virtual Worlds

Virtual Worlds is continuing to grow with the addition of two new regional sales representatives to its busy team.

Miles Maunganidze and Brandon Kwesiga have joined the firm to help drive sales of its market-leading 3D & 4D Design software and raise awareness of the product in businesses across the south of England, the Midlands and Wales.

New sales representative for Virtual Worlds 3d design software
Brandon will cover London and the South East regions.

Brandon will be covering London and the South East of England and has 10 years’ experience in the bathroom industry since first joining the Bathstore as a sales consultant in 2006. He most recently worked at bathroom supplier Farmiloe where he was the company’s brand manager, having been promoted from the position of business development manager earlier in 2016.

New sales representative for Virtual Worlds design software.
Miles will cover the Midlands and South West regions.

With an equally impressive retail background, Miles will be bringing a fresh perspective to Virtual Worlds, following a successful career in retail store management including spells at House of Fraser and Superdry.

With a business management degree from Brunel University, he will be able to use his customer experience skills to get retailers on board whilst managing sales across the Midlands, South West and Wales.

Nathan MacLean, managing director at Virtual Worlds, said: “We’re delighted to welcome both Miles and Brandon to the team. We’re sure they will both prove to be a real asset to the business in the months and years ahead.

“Having two additional experienced sales representatives in our team will allow us to continue to grow and develop our business, and ensure many more customers are able to take advantage of Virtual Worlds’ design package when they visit retailers and create their dream kitchen or bathroom.”

For more information on Virtual Worlds, please visit www.virtualworlds.co.uk.

Version 5.10 released

We’re pleased to announce the launch of Virtual Worlds version 5.10 which is available to download now from the user centre.

This new version improves the display of the Virtual Worlds homepage, allowing you to easily define your own text fields, view social media feeds and improve how templates are defined. You can also take advantage of the updated Tile Catalogue Browser interface and the new advanced moulding features which allow for faster application of architraves, skirtings and covings. For those of you using the Virtual Worlds 4D Showroom or the Design Viewer, there are new buttons available to simplify and speed up the process.

 

Virtual Worlds Creates New Role to Champion 4D Installations.

Virtual Worlds at Logicom, the innovation-led CAD company, has appointed Jamie Gibbs as its first Customer Experience Manager. The new role reflects the company’s expansion into software which delivers both advanced CAD design and consumer-interfacing experiences, including its new Showroom 4D. Gibbs will be an external-facing customer champion.

Jamie
Jamie Gibbs – New Customer Experience Manager

Nathan Maclean, Acting Managing Director at Logicom explains the thinking behind the new position: “Our recently launched Virtual Worlds One package provides customers with a formidable array of powerful design and selling tools, including the exciting new 4D technology. Take-up has been exceptional and Jamie will be providing invaluable after-sales service, helping customers to use all the technology to its full potential and tailor it to their business”.

Gibbs has in-depth knowledge of the Virtual Worlds suite of software, having worked in Support and Training for the last three years. He explains: “My prime focus will be new users, including those of our 4D showroom software, providing hands-on support from the very out-set, so that they quickly get up to speed. The 4D technology is awesome and I’ll be going the extra mile to make sure our customers get the most from it.”

Under a subscription known as Virtual Worlds One, Virtual Worlds 4D is bundled together with Virtual Worlds Professional interactive 3D CAD software, its Viewer App and 2D Planning. Logicom is behind Virtual Worlds and it is understood that more innovations are currently in development, including a pricing module, which will be made available to all Virtual Worlds One subscribers.

First Impressions of the New 4D CAD Experience for Showrooms

A new CAD consumer experience is being rolled-out by Logicom, which could significantly change the way retailers sell.   Launched at the May Design Series, Virtual Worlds 4D proved a popular attraction for visitors who queued up to don the futuristic headset and experience a 4D world. One or two sceptics suggested it was a techie gimmick, whereas most thought it could transform the showroom experience and prove an exciting new selling tool.  The first installations are completed and the early indications are that this latest innovation could be a game changer.

The technology

Virtual Worlds 4D is an adjunct to the popular Virtual Worlds Professional 3D interactive CAD software. Key to the technology is the Virtual Worlds unique interactive platform and the advanced, simulating headset. When worn by the customer, it places them centre stage, in the designed space. Look down and the customer sees an avatar of themselves, sitting in their new room.

VW4Dsmall

Designs in Virtual Worlds 4D appear with exceptionally realistic depth, scale and parallax, made possible by Virtual Worlds’ unique 3D modelling. Users of 4D have access to all the current product catalogues of a vast choice of KBB manufacturers’ brands. Each manufacturer has worked closely with Virtual Worlds to ensure their product collections are accurately replicated in 3D format and update their catalogues regularly.

In 4D the 110 degree viewing angle places the customer directly in the room rather than looking in through a screen. The response to eye movement is immediate, facilitating 360 degree head-tracking and interaction with moving elements of the room, including opening cupboards, looking inside drawers and stepping into showers.

A first for the KBB sector, Virtual Worlds 4D claims to deliver a ground-breaking, virtual reality and interactive buying experience, which is compelling and optimises the sales potential of excellent design.

Subscription based

Under a subscription known as Virtual Worlds One, Virtual Worlds 4D is bundled together with Virtual Worlds Professional interactive 3D CAD software, its Viewer App, 2D Planning and Pricing Module. The software specialist Logicom is behind Virtual Worlds and it is understood that more innovations are currently in development, which will be made available to all subscribers.

A unique showroom experience

Reese James is one of the first retailers to install 4D. Owned and managed by Nigel Mason, the company has a showroom located in Shirley, near Solihull. A hot spot for kitchen and bathroom showrooms, Reese James has three competitors within a five minute walk. Working in such close proximity to other kitchen and bathroom businesses is a key reason Mason was eager to sign up to the 4D package, as he explains.

“Our whole approach is to offer the consumer a unique and outstanding experience from beginning to end. Having seen the 4D demo, I was sold hook, line and sinker. I knew our customers would be wowed and I wanted it immediately for our showroom. This is a major, major way that we are different from the guys down the road.

Nigel Mason of Reese James with customer using Virtual Worlds 4D lr

On the day the software was installed Mason and his staff demonstrated its capabilities to a steady stream of staff from neighbouring businesses, intrigued by the experience. “It was comical, we’d complete one demo and another person would pop in saying they’d heard our goggles were amazing and could they have a go. We were the talk of the area and the experience spread by word of mouth, within hours. It made us begin to realise what a powerful marketing tool this was going to be.”

The showroom is split 50:50 between bathroom and kitchen settings with Rotpunkt, Dornbracht and Laufen products on prominent display. Mason considers the technologically advanced 4D is in keeping with these brands and the company’s upmarket and forward-looking image: “I want customers to enter our showroom and be so impressed with what they see and the shopping experience we promise that they commit without delay. For us 4D is instrumental in achieving this”.

Like Mason, Derek Waddington owner of Broadway Bathrooms in Putney, London was immediately excited by the whole concept of 4D: “I’ve used Virtual Worlds for five years now and love it. When I saw the 4D demonstration, I immediately thought it was for us. It’s an additional investment but our showroom is not that large and needs to work hard for us – I feel 4D will really help”.

Pre-empts installation issues

It is early days for 4D and Mason is the first to admit that he and his staff are still honing their sales pitch, when it comes to introducing consumers to it. His commitment to the technology is such that all potential customers are given a brief demonstration of the ability of the “goggles”, as he refers to the headset, at preliminary discussions and visits to the showroom. “We show them how their kitchen or bathroom design will be visualised, how it will appear through the goggles and the outstanding level of detail they will be able to experience. So far each one has been amazed.  You can hear some of them leaving the showroom still excitedly talking about it. This is a major, major tool for us. We plan to use 4D with as many people as possible.”

Resolves spacial awareness

One of the key features of the technology is that the customer experiences their kitchen or bathroom as though they were walking through it in real life. The realism is impressive, so much so that both Waddington and Mason report that 4D provides the spacial awareness which so many customers lack.

Customer using 4D at James Reese lr

“Most customers struggle to grasp an overhead, 3D plan or flat render – however smart it looks. We find the 4D experience overcomes this problem entirely. They feel physically in the room and so they can see exactly how much space there is between the island units and the oven or the drawers fully extended and whether there is sufficient space for their requirements. It avoids all sorts of potential problems”, explains Mason.

Waddington agrees: “We use Virtual Worlds a lot in the showroom as it is real time and in 3D. Customers can relate to what they are seeing − they really get involved with the design. I anticipate 4D is gong to be that much better”.

As the customer physically experiences the room via the headset in 4D, the designer views the same design on a screen, only in 3D format. If required, adjustments to the design can be made and the customer can view the changes immediately. There is no additional work involved for the designer to go from standard 3D interactive stage to showing the customer the design in 4D.

Waddington thinks the consumer experience of 4D could negate the requirement for producing high resolution renders entirely: “High quality rendering is slow and dated; I think there will be no need once the consumer has seen their design through the goggles – we’ll be talking to them at an entirely different level”.

Design consultation fee potential

Installation of the new CAD technology has also made both retailers start to re-evaluate their approach to charging for design consultations. Like so many kitchen and bathroom retailers, Reese James does not currently charge for designs and Broadway Bathrooms do so rarely, both nervous of deterring potential clients. However, the introduction of the 4D experience is making them question this approach. Mason explains his thinking: “If you can bolt together an impressive showroom with strong design, personal service and add the wow factor of Virtual Worlds 4D experience, I am beginning to think a consultation fee could be feasible”.

Now that would be a game changer.

(Published in KBB Review, September 2015 edition, page 49.)

Virtual Worlds Launches the Future of CAD for Retail Showrooms

The future of CAD was revealed on the Virtual Worlds stand at The May Design Series. The company attracted huge interest with its demonstration of Virtual Worlds 4D, which promises KBB retailers a powerful technology-led consumer experience. A first for the KBB sector, Virtual Worlds 4D delivers a ground-breaking, virtual reality and interactive buying experience, which is compelling and optimises the sales potential of excellent design.

Nathan Maclean, Acting Managing Director at Logicom reports the most frequent comment from visiting retailers experiencing 4D for the first time was “Wow, that’s just amazing”!  He goes onto explain: “We were taken aback by the excitement 4D generated amongst retailers and were delighted with the brisk sales.”

VW4Dsmall

A futuristic, simulating headset is fundamental to Virtual Worlds 4D; when worn by the customer, it places them centre stage, in their designed KBB space. Designs in Virtual Worlds 4D appear with unsurpassed depth, scale and parallax, and are capable of creating the excitement and adrenalin rush akin to those experienced by gamers. The 110 degree viewing angle places the customer directly in the room, rather than looking in through a screen. The response to eye movement is immediate, facilitating 360 degree head-tracking and interaction with moving elements of the room, including opening cupboards, looking inside drawers and stepping into showers.

Nathan Maclean, Acting Managing Director at Logicom likens Virtual Worlds 4D to the core elements of interior design, alongside space, light, form, texture, colour, furniture and objects: “Virtual Worlds 4D provides out retailers with the missing 8th element of interior design. It places the physical body, or customer, inside the space, so as to be able to fully appreciate the design’s potential and stimulate the aspiration of ownership. The design becomes theirs. The experience is engaging, entertaining, compelling and leads customers to the point of ordering”.

Virtual Worlds by Logicom is keen to optimise sales opportunities for showroom retailers and envisages a Virtual Worlds 4D in-store area, dedicated to elevating the design experience. Virtual Worlds 4D is a significant element of a new Virtual Worlds 4D Showroom package, which combines the acclaimed  Virtual Worlds Professional 3D interactive CAD software, Viewer App and 2D Planning tool with the new 4D showroom technology.

Virtual Worlds New App Brings Design into the Home

 

Virtual Worlds, the popular KBB CAD software from Logicom, has launched the Viewer App for designers to share their 3D interactive designs with customers.

DSC_4903_crop_ website

Compatible with Apple or Android mobile devices, the Viewer App allows designers to create conceptual designs using Virtual Worlds Professional and then upload them for viewing three dimensionally in the App. Likewise, designers can email a link to a customer for them to access proposed designs or a gallery of previous projects, at their convenience.

The Viewer App has multiple interfaces, including touch screen swipe and on-screen navigation.  Quick and responsive, the Virtual Worlds App brings to life designers’ plans, demonstrating them in an interactive format. Customers can walk through their room, on-screen, and view it from any angle; open cupboards and doors, look inside a shower, take a close-up of the tiling format, all on their tablet or Smartphone.

app

Nathan MacLean, Acting Managing Director at Logicom sees the Viewer App as an exciting, additional selling tool:  “The Viewer App provides retailers with a powerful, portable sales tool, which shortens the sales process and showcases their designs in a customer friendly, engaging way. The concept of a customer, ipad in hand, standing in their actual kitchen as they tap their way around photo realistic visuals of their new layout, is now an exciting reality”.

The Viewer App has been developed by Logicom, creators of Virtual Worlds. The hosting service, available on an annual subscription, is provided through the Virtual Worlds’ cloud and is therefore secure, controlled and confidential. Once uploaded, plans can be accessed for a time managed period by invited customers only, even if the retailer or designer is off-line.

Catalogue updates

Our team at the Virtual Worlds Towers have been hard at work leading to a number of catalogues updated and released over the last few Months. Maintained Virtual Worlds users can access the following from the Virtual Worlds User Centre:

Bisque

This new version, as well as an update to the main catalogue interface, now includes a selection of products from the Finn range of radiators.

Bosch

This new catalogue contains the complete range of ovens, hobs and cooker hoods available from Bosch. Note that this catalogue is only available to Virtual Worlds Kitchens users.

Duravit

This update adds the Delos, Esplanade, Karree, Ketho, Light and Mirrors, MirrorWall and Nahho ranges to the bath, furniture and sanitaryware Virtual Worlds catalogues.

Grant Westfield

This main Wall Panel catalogue includes multiPanel, polyPanel and tilePanel wall panels and extrusions, the worktops include the multiPanel Vanity Tops and hydroStone Vanity Tops.

The Tiling catalogue includes all the panels and extrusions for ceilingPanels, and twinFloorClick and twinFloorClick items.

Hansgrohe

This new version now includes the Logis range, as well as the ShowerSelect thermostatic valves.

Ideal Standard

This new version includes a wide range of their baths, furniture, sanitaryware, taps, showers and wastes available. Keep an eye out for further catalogue in the near future!

Ideal Standard – Sottini

The new version of this catalogue contains the complete range of sanitaryware, baths, taps showers and wastes available.

Kohler UK

A new version of the Kohler UK bathrooms catalogue is available which now includes the new Terrace range of furniture and sanitaryware.

Keuco

This new version of the Keuco bathroom furniture catalogue contains the complete range of bathroom furniture available from Keuco.Note that this catalogue is password protected for Keuco retailers.

Matki EauZone Plus

To coincide with the release of Virtual Worlds version 5.9, the standard and bespoke catalogues have been upgraded to include new functionality.

RAK

This catalogue contains a wide range of mirrors available from RAK Ceramics.

Roman

This update includes the complete range of shower enclosures, trays, bath screens and accessories available from Roman.

Siemens

This new catalogue contains a wide range of ovens, hobs, cooker hoods, dishwashers, fridges and freezers available from Siemens.

Symphony

The Lindo and Finishing Touches catalogues now contain the Naples range of fitted furniture and mirrors.

Utopia

This new version includes the complete range of fitted and modular furniture, sanitaryware, taps, accessories and tiles currently available from Utopia.

Victoria & Albert

This includes new products from the Amiata, Barcelona, Elwick and Maru ranges of baths and sanitaryware, and the new Staffordshire wall-mounted bath/shower mixer.

For any assistance with downloading or using any of the catalogues please do not hesitate to contact our support team on 01908 448899.

And First Prize goes to…..

With all the trade mags and their KBB Birmingham ‘Review’ issues hitting our doormats over the last few weeks or so – here at Virtual Worlds, our thoughts have actually turned to the KBB Awards!

Now, don’t get us wrong – we had a pretty amazing time exhibiting at the NEC this year and we have been rushed off our feet ever since – which is simply fantastic! But… and I pause after this because… the KBB Awards were quite ‘something else’ for Virtual Worlds! We were utterly thrilled to have discovered we had so many of our Virtual Worlds users actually chosen as finalists and to even have a category winner!!

The Bathroom Company in Perth…

…and they went home with the coveted prize of Bathroom Retailer of the Year!

But not only did a Virtual Worlds user snatch the top spot, we also had Napier Bathrooms & Interiors in Edinburgh and PHS Bathrooms from Milton Keynes (the only category finalists in England) take two of the Runner Up places. But it didn’t stop there… The Bathroom Company [Perth] were also awarded Runner Up position for Bathroom Showroom of the Year.

Now, you could be mistaken for thinking this was quite enough glory for Virtual Worlds to revel in, but you would be wrong! The awards kept coming… Hobson’s Choice in Swindon, went home with a Runner Up award for Kitchen Designer of the Year. Catriona Lock from Soak in Style of Maidenhead, narrowly missed top prize for Bathroom Designer of the Year (project over £25,000) with a Runner Up place. And Nigel Heron Kitchens & Bathrooms of Leamington Spa, also snatched Runner Up for Bathroom Customer Service of the Year.

Phew… what a night!!

These Virtual Worlds users are not only at the top of their game, but know part of their success is gained through providing a great design service. By choosing to use Virtual Worlds’ software day to day as part of their design experience, they have proven beyond doubt they are up there with the best – each providing an exceptional level of service to clients. We are very proud indeed, to have played a part in their achievements and only hope we can continue to help them add value to their business!

Well done everyone!

Virtual Worlds Sales: 01908 663848

www.virtualworlds.co.uk

New Version 5.8 ‘Hot off the press’… well almost!!

Have you all downloaded the new version of Virtual Worlds yet? And if not, why not?

The new all singing all dancing 5.8 version, is now out and ready to be downloaded from the Virtual Worlds User Centre! So before you think ‘I’m quite happy with the version I have’ here are just some of the new key features that come with 5.8 and which you will miss out on, if not downloaded:

  • Users can now download plans and drawings developed in AutoCAD or Google Sketch Up into Virtual Worlds Professional, such as architects’ or builders’ plans, to create their own KBB designs and then export the final plans back in a compatible file format 

 

  • Virtual Worlds 5.8 now automatically carries out maintenance checks and actions on opening the programme – this sees the system regularly updated with licence information and ensures crucial computer services are kept running

 

  • The new version of Virtual Worlds has significant improvements to hard copy reports generated in the 2D plans and elevations section, in order to enhance the quality of visuals to show customers. Thus further improving the user experience

Plus, some of the latest product catalogues are only available if you have the new version on your PC! So quite simply, if you want to make sure you have access to the very latest product ranges from all our manufacturers, don’t waste another minute; get yourself to the Virtual Worlds User Centre on www.virtualworlds.co.uk and get downloading.

But if you are completely new to the idea of CAD for designing and fear you’re getting left behind in the world of kitchen, bedroom, bathroom or interior design; why not give our sales team a call, or drop them an email! Virtual Worlds is well known for it’s ease of use, impressive photo-realistic renders, real-time interactive fly-through function and comprehensive library of manufacturer catalogues. Make sure you can take advantage of Virtual Worlds’ sophisticated and intuitive software package – the only design tool to give you a real competitive edge! 

01908 663 848

sales@virtualworlds.co.uk

www.virtualworlds.co.uk

 

Well… KBB Show is over for yet another year!

And what a fantastic show it was as well and it all started off the week before, with the stand build!

From little acorns…

Boxes and rubbish everywhere… but the boys (Nick & Paul) worked really hard painting and drilling, until the stage was finally ready for us to dress – the best part! We had wanted something a little different from all the other stands and opted for a lovely room set – so we got busy with sofas, table, cabinets and picture frames. Although we suffered with a few stiff backs and aching joints, we could finally see some light at the end of the tunnel! And with a quick hoover and a last tweak, we were almost ready for the gates to open…

We were particularly proud of the hanging pictures! Our modelling team had generated some fabulous images for us to use and showcase the Virtual Worlds software. Everyone who visted the stand over the four days agreed wholeheartedly, they all looked simply stunning on the wall!

So for those that couldn’t make the show, here are a few of those images…

A beautiful dresser from Mereway Kitchens – product catalogue available in Virtual Worlds

And two fabulous images showing Virtual Worlds’ versatility within rooms such as the lounge and bedroom…

And with all our hard work now in place – all that was left was to be ready for Sunday morning. Before we knew it, the numbers of visitors to our stand began to grow – interest in Virtual Worlds was really promising and the day just flew by! Phew! Monday was much the same, with lots of new enquiries, plus many of our software users popping onto the stand for a natter.

With a change of staff for Tuesday and Wednesday, it was time to take a mooch around the show. Started off nicely with a lovely invite to a champagne reception and great talks by some very inspiring architects (sponsored by BD Online) – in particular Patrick Reardon from ReardonSmith Architects. Very much enjoyed! Then met with all our favourite advertisers, eased along with a much appreciated mojito from Luke Sutton – mobile cocktail barman from Speak Easy Bars very kindly hosted by Cosentino on their ‘always busy’ stand.

Wednesday was equally enjoyable (we may have sneaked another mojito) and continued to be busy, busy, busy – met with some really lovely people: manufacturers, retailers/designers, and interior designers. Saw some wonderful stands and took loads of orders for Virtual Worlds! What could be better! ;-)

There are some final images I just had to add (personal favourites) from a stand I visited at the show with really eyecatching baths, by the Mosaic Bath Company – would really love the yellow one in my bathroom – lush!

    

How great would these baths look in a Virtual Worlds product catalogue!

So.. to round up for KBB Birmingham 2012 – a great time was indeed had by all! But if you missed our stand and would like to know more about Virtual Worlds’ design software, then why not drop us an email at: sales@virtualworlds.co.uk or if you prefer to chat on the phone, call to speak to one of our sales team on: 01908 663848 – they’re a very friendly bunch!

Here’s to KBB 2013

www.virtualworlds.co.uk