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Oct 04 2011

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StickyWorld: From specification to collaboration

StickyWorld opens up further potential channels for construction products people to engage with specifiers, and extend collaboration down the supply chain.

I have done occasional consultancy work over the past couple of years for east London-based Slider Studio, some of it relating to its StickyWorld platform – a collaborative ‘virtual room’ platform that allows richer levels of interaction through use of 360-degree panoramic photography, video and other tools (see ExtranetEvolution blog post, March 2011).

INSITE11

This technology, delivered on a Software-as-a-Service basis and accessible to users through a standard web browser, is this week being used to help extend the reach of exhibitors at BRE’s INSITE11 event in Watford. This two-day event (4-5 October) is showcasing products and services relating to refurbishment and retrofitting, but – as with any event – only a relatively small number of people will be able to spare the time to travel to Hertfordshire to actually see the exhibition. Therefore StickyWorld is being used to capture key information from each exhibitor and make it available online – and not just for the duration of INSITE11, but for weeks and months after the event too.

As a practising architect, Slider Studio’s Michael Kohn has long experience of dealing with product manufacturers and suppliers, and believes StickyWorld can readily be used to carry out conversations in the context of product sales brochures, or project specifications. Dialogue can take place in dedicated ‘Sticky Rooms’, and these can now be embedded in the supplier’s own website, as a professionally focused social media channel. “Using secure private rooms and marking up the documents under discussion with familiar redlining tools, technical sales staff can help the decision-making customer understand their products more fully,” Michael says.

I wandered around INSITE11/StickyWorld.com this afternoon without leaving my desk in southeast London. To date, 19 different rooms have been populated, ranging from virtual tours of permanent BRE exhibits such as the newly completed Prince’s House and the Victorian Terrace, to product showcases for – so far – 11 firms in the Innovation Zone (Slider Studio people are taking photographs and collating further information for other exhibitors throughout the show), with some of this work funded by the Technology Strategy Board’s Modern Built Environment Knowledge Transfer Network.

Visitors can learn about the technical specification of the buildings from the comfort of their own computers, leave comments or questions using virtual ‘sticky notes’, and review technical information about products featured in the buildings. StickyWorld will create a permanent online archive of information and provide a platform for those unable to attend the live event, either in person or virtually, to follow-up after the event.

On my marcoms blog, I bemoan the lack of discussion of StickyWorld among marketing people in the construction sector, but I think StickyWorld opens up further potential channels for construction products people to engage with designers and specifiers during project delivery. For example:

  • Potentially, StickyWorld’s embeddable nature makes it possible for private discussions about project-specific implementation of products and/or materials to be included via, say, a module within a conventional SaaS construction collaboration platform.
  • These conversations might also be ‘richer’ due to StickyWorld’s multi-media capabilities, and, as StickyWorld is quite intuitive to use, supplier users may not need to be trained up to use the functionality of the main platform (useful if their company’s only contribution will be supply of a relatively small quantity of building components or equipment).
  • Moreover, Slider Studio’s philosophy of ‘democratic design’ means StickyWorld might also be used as a consultative tool during public consultation or research about the project, and/or for consultation with end-users of the built asset.

[This is an edited version of a blog post first published on my PR/marcoms blog.]

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2011/10/stickyworld-from-specification-to-collaboration/

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