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Firm's 3D technology gives new angle to kitchen sales.

Byline: HENRYK ZIENTEK @HenrykZientek

CUSTOMERS shopping online for a new kitchen can now get the "in-store" experience thanks to a digital studio in Huddersfield.

Lindley-based Pikcells has created the world's first 3D 360-degree online kitchen planner for Wren Kitchens.

With consumers now seeking online shopping experiences that are as close as possible to visiting a store, the planner gives them the ability to move around inside the kitchen they have created from Wren Kitchens' complete range of doors, colours, worktops, splashbacks and handles.

Pikcells creative director Richard Benson said: "The new 360deg panoramic planner combines webGL technology - the one used in Google Earth - with the customisable features of a kitchen configurator to create a really useful tool for Wren's customers.

"It's an elegant and simple solution to a problem that a lot of companies with customisable products are facing online and who are currently spending a lot of time and money to solve by developing fully 3D VR tools and configurators."

With 3D changing the online shopping experience, increasing the excitement and interactivity of internet shopping, Pikcells solution offers benefits for a widerange of retailers from interiors and homewares such as bathrooms, bedrooms, tiles and carpets as well as property and fashion.

Pikcells uses proprietary software developed in-house that works on any device and any browser without plugins - and can be ported out to a VR headset for a fully immersive styling experience.

Engineered to work quickly with Wren Kitchens' large menu of customisable options and high number of site visitors, the configurator lets users zoom into the space for a closer look as well as move around inside the kitchen for an experience that's both more realistic and more engaging.

Wren Kitchens' marketing director Richard Walker said: "As part of the development of a new website for Wren Kitchens, we wanted to update our existing kitchen visualiser.

"Pikcells' new configurator showcases our full kitchen range and brilliantly addresses all of the issues you typically find with styling tools such as limited visibility and movement, lack of detail and low interactivity. Pikcells' new configurator helps the customer get up-close and personal with the choices they've made."

The new configurator features millions of possible combinations. Pikcells created all CGI rendered images - colour balanced and checked - then mapped them in panoramic form onto a 3D sphere.

This technique makes the images appear normal whilst allowing users to rotate inside the sphere and view the kitchen from all angles as though they were inside the space.

Pikcells, which also rendered all of the images for the recent 268-page Wren catalogue - the largest ever UK consumer kitchen catalogue - developed a working model of the new configurator in its R&D department to demonstrate benefits to the client.

Pikcells was founded 15 years ago and has invested more than PS250,000 in R&D to date. Clients include major retailers and brands in UK, Europe and US, including Wren Kitchens and Homebase.

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jun 28, 2018
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