Here East is an innovation and technology campus situated in East London with a rich story to tell about its history, impact and vision for the future. To befit their positioning, they commissioned a Digital Twin of the campus to use as a communication aid when delivering talks and presentations about the campus and become a platform for remote viewing where travel was impractical.
Architecture & Built Environment
Here East asked Squint Opera to create a Digital Twin to show off the campus in real-time immersive 3D using Unreal Engine, as well as develop a narrative to tell the backstory of Here East as part of the twin – how it came to be, who calls it home, and the impact it’s having on the local and national economy.
Here East has always lived at the intersection of technology and innovation. As such, it’s entirely natural for them to be amongst the first to embrace innovative new storytelling techniques and commission new presentation experiences.
Squint/Opera’s solution leverages the very latest game engine technology from Epic – Unreal Engine 5 – to recreate the campus in fine detail and allow visitors to explore on their own terms or be guided through a series of features that illustrate their desired narrative.
Here East wanted to explore the use of this technology to promote the district as an innovation hub and to speed up the tenant leasing process.
The campus’s success at home has attracted plenty of overseas interest. One of the reasons Here East wanted to experiment with digital twins was our platform’s unique ability to host virtual immersive meetings ‘inside’ the model and hence be able to conduct remote viewing and tours.
We employed SpaceForm – a dedicated platform for hosting digital twins that’s built around Unreal Engine 5.
The capability of Spaceform to create a genuinely immersive environment for meetings enables it to present every aspect of a project to potential tenants, investors, and communities in real-time. This, in turn, accelerates decision-making processes, as it provides a level of detail beyond what traditional communication tools can offer.
“We are delighted to have partnered with Squint/Opera to take this transformative step and develop our virtual twin. The ability to replicate our vibrant campus in a virtual forum and show people from all over the world our site, whilst having real-time conversations with them, is really unique.” – Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East.
Squint achieved this high degree of realism by integrating existing technical data with data gathered directly from the site. A truly authentic representation is created by mapping photographs onto buildings and incorporating recorded sounds from the site into the digital model.
The addition of animated components, like people, vehicles, trees, and artificial and natural lighting, truly enlivens the twin. With the added effects of changing daylight and seasons, the simulation offers a deeply immersive experience.
The future Here of East is further growth. Having successfully operated for over a decade, it has leased 94% of its one-million-square-foot site. The site’s virtual presence enhances opportunities for further expansion, both in the UK and internationally. The Twin and its unique communication features allow for the campus to be virtually recreated anywhere in the world, offering a practical way to assess its functionality in different territories. Consequently, Here East is excellently positioned for future endeavours.
“The capability of our virtual twin to create a genuinely immersive environment for meetings enables our client to present every aspect of their project to potential tenants, investors, and communities in real-time. Here East has innovation at its heart, and together we’ve created a product that really reflects that.” – Alice Britton, Founding Director, Squint/Opera.