Panoplaza, a platform created by Tokyo-based Kadinche, enables the creation of virtual spaces through the use of panoramic technology. In the past we have written about some implementations, including a number of retailers who use it to more realistically show how their store looks, all in the browser and viewable across many devices. Check out their panoramas of Daimaru department stores or Tokyu Hikarie to see what the service is capable of doing.
In our latest Tokyo Office Tour, I had a chance to visit the Kadinche office. CEO Soko Aoki explained a little more about how they work, and what lies ahead for Panoplaza.
I like photography, so it was really fun to see some of the gear they use on their Panoramic photo shoots. In addition to super-wide fisheye lenses, they also have some custom fabricated tools (using a Makerbot 3D printer on site) for mounting multiple GoPro cameras for 360-degree video recording. Panoplaza’s advantage, of course, lies in its software, and the end result when the images are processed into the final panoramic presentation.
Soko expects that retailers and e-commerce players will make more use of these panoramic presentation, as it has high potential as an O2O tool.
For users, being able to access such a virtual space online has many benefits, as you retain the sense of exploring a realistic space. But you can also benefit from supplementary info and functions, like clicking on a product to see more information or to make a purchase directly. Just recently Kadinche announced two new retailers that are using its service: Kintetsu Department Store (see their Abeno Harukas store panoramas) and Seibu Department Store in Shibuya (see their 15 panorama spots here).
Readers may recall that the company has previously partnered with Stores.jp to help small businesses create panoramic online store fronts.
Given the work required to do these photo shoots, the business does lack some scalability at present. But the company has managed to carve out a niche that appeals to big retailers, and Soko hopes they can manage to scale their operations further so they can do more. I hope they can do well, because I think the upcoming 2020 Olympics could represent an opportunity for a company like Kadinche, helping the city and its many retailers with promotion.