The Challenge

900lbs was selected by Visit Seattle to develop a unique tablet-based Augmented Reality experience to educate partners, clients, and the media about their newest Convention Center addition currently under construction, The Summit, which is located within close proximity to the existing Arch Convention Center building in downtown Seattle. They needed an experienced interactive creative agency to craft and implement a new sales tool in a form factor that is portable, compatible with their existing Surface Pro devices, and usable at sales meetings and trade show events. The major focus was to highlight the Washington State Convention Center’s new additional facility, Summit, alongside the current facility, Arch, and surrounding hotels and landmarks in order to effectively showcase why Seattle is the premier destination for meetings and conventions.

The Solution

We leveraged an Augmented Reality (AR) software platform which we knew would meet the specifications of the Surface Pro 4 tablet computer used by their event planning and sales team. We discovered that this hardware would require the AR app to be marker based, meaning that the tablet camera would need to track a physical poster in order to keep the city mapped to a meeting table or trade show floor.

Alongside concept development and discovery, we utilized floor plans, blueprints, architectural renderings, 3D city models, and other space offering statistics sheets. This content gathering ensured that our app would be accurate to the space as much as possible, while Summit is still under construction. 

We designed an intuitive app layered with rich content to enhance the user experience. Visit Seattle’s customers are immersed in a visually compelling environment – creating new ways to explore and experience the Washington State Convention Center buildings and all Seattle has to offer. To accomplish this, we

  • Created an auto-scrolling Photo Gallery of the Arch and Summit building renderings which could play while on standby at a Trade Show booth.
  • Worked with the Visit Seattle team to create a branded and high contrast AR Marker that could be easily printed and tracked.
  • Optimized existing 3D models, constructed models for remaining buildings, and optimized all models to “game-ready” complexity in order to reduce the app’s resource load on the computer. We made sure that the experience runs great while all 3D is live-rendered within the limitations of the hardware and AR software environment.
  • Created a “City Mode” with simple zoom, pan, and rotate gesture controls to ensure that sales team members could easily find all featured buildings and showcase the true walkability of the Washington State Convention Center areas.
  • Created a “Layered View” to isolate the exterior and interior of the Arch and Summit, navigate through the different floors of the buildings, showcase convention space details, and communicate how visitors would flow.
  • Animated the light rail and monorail, and gave special attention to the “hill climb” staircase that cuts through the entire Summit building.

The Result

The final product is a Visit Seattle branded tablet AR app with intuitive controls to be utilized by over 40 event planners nationwide. The AR tool is now helping drive conversion of event booking during sales meetings with meeting and event planners, major corporations and event groups.

We are proud to partner with Visit Seattle to help reach their sales objectives and emphasize their amazing convention spaces, all while using business-friendly technology.