“We are compiling unique 3D virtual reality and augmented reality models of thousands of apartments around Finland and the Nordic countries that are updated as the home buyer or construction company make decisions about the materials or make changes to the floor plan,” says Harri Majala, CEO, GBuilder.
“Our system is built on a BIM model and we are creating something that we have not seen anywhere else in the world. GBuilder is designed to solve issues concerning customer management and the digitalization of the customer journey in the construction sector.”
GBuilder has created a BIM-based solution that helps construction companies to provide a superior customer experience for home buyers from sales to configuration, through the construction process and after-sales service. Launched at the end of 2015, GBuilder offers a visual web-based user interface and Dynamic 3D/VR/AR model that can be decorated and shared. Ideal for use on mobile phones and tablets, the product is currently being actively used or piloted by almost all the biggest construction companies in Finland.
New level of customer service
The 3D models include accurate information from architect drawings, including measurements, rooms, surfaces, fixtures, doors and windows. GBuilder acts as an online design studio where home buyers can easily visualize their new home: decorating it with furniture, comparing different options for materials and fixtures while keeping track of the budget. The construction company can use GBuilder to upsell pre-priced options online and the home buyer can make selections and confirm them online.
The digitalized customer journey enables reliable communications between the home buyer, construction company and other stakeholders as orders, quantities and check lists are accurately updated in real time. GBuilder makes it possible to send messages, save pictures and videos and share them in the social media or through email. Home buyers can conveniently follow the progress of the building work and the construction company can maintain a high level of customer service after they have moved in.
Excellent growth prospects
GBuilder’s product development team is located in Oulu, Finland’s northern high-tech hub, which has many companies focused on 3D and AR/VR and a good availability of tech talent. The scalable mobile technology powering GBuilder is built on the Unity platform with an option for high render and holograms.
“Our main markets are currently in Finland and Norway but we also have a small pilot project in the United States and are participating in a business accelerator in Austria which has enabled us to demonstrate the product to construction companies there,” says Majala.
“Until recently, this has been a niche market but the falling price and widening choice of VR/AR equipment is rapidly increasing the target customer group. Many businesses can now see that this technology offers great potential. Our turnover has been doubling or tripling every year and I believe that the market growth is going to accelerate rapidly.”
Finland offers mature AR/VR market
Finland is a more mature AR/VR market compared to many other countries because it has a broad target group that is already familiar with the technology, according to Majala.
“The users in Finland get enthused about the quality of the actual product or service. They have a critical perspective which provides valid information that is very useful for companies. It’s not about the wow factor when a person first experiences AR/VR, which makes Finland a great place for running proof of concept or pilot projects,” he says.
“At the same time, this is also a challenge for all the companies in AR/VR field – we have to prove that our products offer real depth, interactivity and bring genuine added value to the customers.”