Operating in Japan for 12 years as a specialist in content management systems (CMS) and other digital transformation technologies, HeartCore responded to its customers’ pandemic-fueled needs in 2020 by expanding into 3D virtual reality (VR) experiences viewable on PCs, mobile devices, or VR headsets.
“Shops and offices were closed and with people staying at home, and e-commerce grew dramatically. However, many companies needed to improve their online customer experience,” says Sumitaka Kanno, President, and CEO, HeartCore. “This created an opportunity for HeartCore to help clients create a more engaging digital presence.”
To branch into VR, HeartCore established a partnership with Matterport that allows it to use the Matterport SDK and APIs to develop new features integrated with Matterport digital twins. HeartCore uses the 3D replicas to create virtual tours, e-commerce merchandising solutions, entertainment experiences, and training programs by layering on customized technologies to meet client objectives. When needed, the company also helps clients capture digital twins of their places of business in high-definition, photorealistic detail using a Matterport Pro2 3D camera or Ricoh Theta 360 cameras.
Unlocking an Immersive Open Campus Experience
For Tokyo University of Technology, HeartCore helped when the university’s annual open campus event could not be held in-person. The company used Matterport developer tools to create a robust online virtual tour of the university’s expansive campus facilities, including the Katayanagi Research Institute building, where people can zoom in on competition robots housed in its 12th floor Robocon Room and watch embedded videos to learn more about students’ participation in robotics competitions.
Visitors can navigate around dozens of rooms and spaces throughout the university’s Hachioji and Kamata campuses, from the relaxing garden greenery at the Kamata central outdoor plaza, to hands-on medical and engineering learning spaces outfitted with advanced equipment, and inviting places where students can relax, eat, socialize, or study. The 3D visuals and rich content of the tour make it easier for prospective students and community members to become familiar with the university’s resources and facilities, allowing them to view areas they might not ordinarily get to see.
To go beyond the capabilities of a standard Matterport digital twin, HeartCore added a colorful illustrated character, Koukaton, to guide visitors and introduce the main campus areas with extra descriptions and explanations of navigation tools. Additional user interface enhancements include a door icon to more quickly move to another area of campus via a list of key destinations and a map icon to open a useful map embedded within the top right corner of the tour. HeartCore used Mattertags to call attention to key features and embedded additional information, pictures, and videos.
“Matterport technology allowed us to create an immersive experience for more than 20,000 online visitors to the university’s virtual open campus event, representing a big success during a time when the community could not visit in-person,” says Kanno
Enhancing Digital Twins
For Mitsubishi Shoji & Sun and its Tomony organization, HeartCore developed virtual tours of a universally accessible office space as well as the Taiyo Museum, where visitors can learn about the history of employment of people with disabilities. HeartCore developed additional tour features including navigation information using a mascot character plus embedded text, images and video, highlighted with color-coded Mattertags.
For Toshiba Information Systems, HeartCore created an online virtual reality exhibition allowing the company to highlight its system integration solutions. The experience included embedded videos as well as downloadable brochures, in addition to an inquiry form for lead generation.
When the Minato Ward and Kodaira City governments wanted to set up COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics, it included virtual tours from HeartCore as part of its plan for a smooth rollout. QR codes on promotional materials distributed in advance linked to digital twins of the seven vaccination clinic sites. The site tours were set up to play automatically to help staff and vaccine recipients become familiar with the locations in advance, facilitating traffic flows. “The virtual tour reduced some of the worries people had about going to get a vaccine, and made the experience at the physical vaccine clinic site more streamlined and pleasant,” says Kanno.
For Aoshima, a maker of plastic model kits and hobby products, HeartCore worked with the company to create a virtual online presence for the annual Shizuoka Hobby Show, since in-person attendance was severely limited. HeartCore captured a digital twin of Aoshima’s booth space, then used Matterport developer tools to superimpose videos and imagery on the monitor screens throughout the booth for the online VR experience. “Aoshima had more than 10,000 people access its website after the introduction of the digital twin, and the online event attracted 300% of the local visitors,” says Kanno.
HeartCore collaborated with a furniture retailer, Murauchi Furniture Access, that has a very large, 18,000 square meter store, developing a virtual 3D tour that integrates with the retailer’s e-commerce website, making it easier for shoppers to find out more information about the brand, materials, and origin of the merchandise.
For a digital twin of its own office, HeartCore layered on an audio greeting that automatically plays upon entering, additional voice guidance from a graphical character tour guide, and a treasure hunt-style game to encourage exploration.
The company also helped a Waseda University Executive Committee put on a VR fashion show, attracting media attention.
“We investigated more than ten options when we were researching our VR360 services launch and we believe Matterport is truly the best in the world. As a partner, we are excited about the opportunities to continue developing new virtual and augmented reality experiences based on Matterport digital twins,” says Kanno.
HeartCore is a Matterport Platform Partner that leverages Matterport APIs and SDKs to build and commercialize their apps and integrations with Matterport’s market-leading spatial data platform. As a Platform Partner, they gain access to a range of commercial benefits, such as Matterport’s distribution network and enhanced support as well as co-marketing and co-selling programs to help them successfully monetize their applications. To learn more about the Platform Partner Program and apply to join, visit https://matterport.com/platform-partner-program
HeartCore is a digital transformation expert with specialties in content management systems, customer experience management, artificial intelligence, databases, business intelligence, and other technology solutions and services. Its digital marketing solutions now include Matterport-based 3D virtual reality experiences for office, factory, and museum tours, as well as for school campus open houses, festivals, fashion shows, trade shows, corporate training, retail stores, and more.
Matterport SDK, Matterport APIs
- Tripled traffic to hobby model maker’s virtual event compared to in-person attendance
- Attracted 20,000 visitors to university’s online open campus event
- Integrated digital twin with furniture retailer’s e-commerce website for improved shopping
- Improved engagement by embedding treasure hunts, character tours, questionnaires, videos, and voice/audio on top of 3D virtual reality experiences