Greenville’s Proforma partners with Toronto company for augmented reality tech
Marketing in Greenville is about to go 3-D in a big way.
A new partnership formed by Greenville-based Proforma Business Impact, a marketing solutions company, and Toronto-based creative production studio Klokwerks is bringing augmented reality (AR) marketing technology to the Southeastern U.S.
Klokwerks, which started in Toronto in 2005, focuses its AR technology on the automotive and real estate markets. The company now boasts customers such as Marriott, Hilton, Trump, Lexus, Audi and Kia.
The 3-D walk-through technology allows customers to “sell something today that will be built tomorrow,” said Lino Hilario, Klokwerks vice president and partner. Hilario said he has been consulting and assisting builders, developers and resort/hotels to sell digitally since 1996.
Referring to their services as a “digital playground,” Hilario said real estate customers using Klokwerks technology can place an ad for a project such as a new condo complex or residential home subdivision in a print magazine, newspaper, flyer or other media. Would-be buyers then place their iPads, phones or other smart devices over the image and see virtual walk-throughs of each home or condo. Customers could see what each floor or street is going to look like, view amenities and more – just like they were there in person, he said.
“It brings a little more flair and a little more realism to renderings,” said Hilario.
Automotive customers using Klokwerks can create a 3-D virtual tour and allow customers to see the inside of a new vehicle, open the hood of a car or see where specific parts are located and how they are used.
Klokwerks handles all of the filming, CGI, production and design for its customers and lets them manage their own content, Hilario said.
“We’re not just about technology,” he said. “We’re a visualization company.”
A June 2014 Toronto Star article reported that Hilario demonstrated one of their app’s capabilities to real estate development marketing students at Clemson University. “Two hundred construction and development people’s jaws simultaneously hit the ground,” Hilario said. “That’s how I know we’re blazing a trail here.”
Enter Proforma. Will Quinn, president and CEO of Proforma, and Hilario met at a business meeting in Atlanta in February this year. Klokwerks, which also has a location in Detroit, was exploring ways to enter the Southeastern U.S. market. Quinn had been looking for a technology partner for a while and nothing had been a good fit. The two decided to form a partnership, with Klokwerks providing the technology and Proforma handling the sales and marketing. Both Quinn and Hilario see Greenville as a springboard for “everything else in the southeast.”
The team is already meeting with city officials and several large developers and automotive suppliers in the area and said that so far there is a lot of interest in the technology.
“This is the coolest and most fun thing I’ve ever been involved in,” said Quinn.