Virtual Views Mission Statement
The mission of Virtual Views is to captivate people with timeless and soothing nature scenes in motion while bringing the latest in cutting edge art and technology to public spaces.
Virtual Views is in the Art Industry
Virtual Views consist of Living Photos that bring natural scenery to life with the addition of subtle movement that appears in the world around us. Imagine a scene of mist rising off a lake or raindrops falling on a pond. Each piece is framed and mounted on the wall like traditional photography, but unlike photographs, they incorporate motion and light to simulate an actual window view. Virtual Views are created with seamless video loops that are presented on digital frames that display beautiful and timeless nature scenes anytime and anywhere.
A Living Photo is a new art medium that is completely different from posters, paintings and digital photography. People are often surprised and delighted after a few seconds, when they realize that what they thought was a photograph is actually a moving image.
Unlike traditional framed artwork that contains only one still image, each Virtual View can offer a wide variety of scenes within one frame. The “views” can be easily updated, changed or expanded by downloading new imagery from the Virtual Views website that will be launched in early 2017.
In addition, Virtual Views artwork can be customized for clients who request images that are specifically unique to them. For example; resorts might want to display views from their beach front or scenery from their local area.
Debra Lill, the creator of Virtual Views, comes to this project with a solid background in art and real world experience of establishing and maintaining an art based business. She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design and has enjoyed many years as a successful free-lance book cover artist. Her photographic illustrations have graced the covers of hundreds of books by bestselling authors including; Mary Higgins Clark, Debbie Macomber, Erin Hildebrand, John Grisham and James Patterson, just to name a few.
Now Debra is passionate about this new creative venture and will apply the same determination, creativity and persistence to launching the Virtual Views business as she did when starting her successful freelance career.
GOALS & OBJECTIVES
The objective of Virtual Views is to have installations in public spaces where people of all ages and all walks of life can enjoy this innovative and cutting edge artwork.
The first goal for the Virtual Views business is to build a large collection of scenic views that can be easily downloaded and added to the frames. Fortunately, the Virtual Views Studio is located in the northwest hills of Connecticut, a beautiful area with an abundance of photo/video opportunities and breathtaking scenery that is ever changing with the seasons. Virtual Views plans to provide over 200 “views” that can be downloaded from its website by October 2017.
Virtual Views also needs to line up new installations in public spaces. Currently, Debra has taken the first step toward this goal with a pilot hospital project in Connecticut, where she will be installing a number of Virtual Views in the spring of 2017. The artwork will be on display in three different divisions of the hospital. At the Center for Cancer Care, Virtual Views will help create a calming environment while providing a positive diversion for PET Scan patients who must sit in a standard position for extended periods of time. At the Behavioral Health Division, Virtual Views will facilitate mindfulness exercises and provide a visual aid that can help counselors and patients communicate personal experiences and emotions. Virtual Views will also be placed in the main lobby and waiting area of the recently renovated Center for Youth & Families where fanciful images of butterflies and birds will fly across synchronized displays to delight children and their families.
Success of the hospital project will be measured in a variety of ways. Patients at The Center for Cancer Care will complete a survey at the end of their treatments that will include questions about “Virtual Views” to help gage the success of the artwork in that environment. At the Center for Youth & Families, a questionnaire will be placed in the waiting room so that patients and visitors can offer their feedback about the artwork as they wait for their appointments. Receptionists will receive and record comments about the work as well. At the Partial Hospital Behavioral Health Center, depression and anxiety levels will be measured before and after sessions that incorporate Visual Views imagery. Throughout 2017, while feedback is collected and reviewed, the “Virtual Views” units will be updated with new scenes to ensure success and improve the patients’ experience.
In addition to the valuable feedback, this project will also provide exposure and will help to promote Virtual Views to the public and the press. The Charlotte Hungerford Hospital will develop an awareness campaign to highlight “Virtual Views” upon installation. Debra will work with the marketing team and location administrators to promote the artwork at each of the three separate locations to their specific patients, visitors, and staff. These may include press releases, a “meet the artist” Open House, an article in the CHH Health matters newsletter distributed to 45,000 area residents, and local news articles. The Marketing Department will also promote the art through e-mail blasts and social media outlets including its website, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts.
Furthermore, this pilot project will provide a working model that will “pave the way” and help secure future installations in other public spaces. The objective for Virtual Views in 2017 is to secure at least three new contracts with clients involved with nonresidential interior design projects.
Ideally, the most efficient way to the target audience of interior designers and decision makers involved with creating interiors for nonresidential spaces, would be to exhibit Virtual Views at the NeoConEast Design Exposition in Philadelphia held on November 15 – 16, 2017. With over 7000 attendees from the nonresidential construction & design sectors, Virtual Views could connect with thousands of industry professionals that work across multiple market segments including: healthcare, public space, workplace, government, hospitality, education and retail. Although exhibiting at this show is quite expensive, this is the kind of exposure that could give Virtual Views the successful start it needs to stay ahead of the competition! Debra is currently exploring options and applying for a grant that would provide the funding necessary for the NeoConEast show.
Debra has been creating and exhibiting her Living Photos and Virtual Views since 2011 in Manhattan and Connecticut. The feedback from a wide demographic has been consistently positive. It is uncanny how many people say exactly the same thing when they see the work. The most common comments are: “I’ve never seen anything like this!”….“These are so relaxing, I could watch them all day”. People describe the work as “mesmerizing” “relaxing” “beautiful” “unusual”.
The original target market for Virtual Views was individuals looking to buy art for their homes. However, it soon became clear that selling electronic based artwork to individuals without a warranty or a tech support staff could become problematic when technical problems arose. It has been determined that the best market for Virtual Views is public and commercial spaces, where IT departments can manage the electronics and a wide demographic of people can enjoy the benefits of the latest in cutting edge art and technology.
With that in mind, healthcare settings are one such target market. Research has proven that nature and nature-based representational artwork in health care environments has a positive effect on patients. A landmark study by Roger Ulrich PhD in 1984 revealed that patients who viewed trees from their hospital room windows recuperated almost a full day faster and required less pain medication than those with a view of a brick wall. Further research proved that viewing nature reduces stress levels within five minutes as evident in physiological changes, such as blood pressure and heart activity. Another experiment by Tse, Ng, Chung, & Wong in 2002 found that hospital patients who viewed a soundless nature videotape had substantially greater pain tolerance than patients with only blank TV screens.
Since Virtual Views simulate the experience of viewing nature through a window, it is safe to assume that Virtual Views will help reduce stress and promote healing. The feedback from the current hospital installation is expected to support this. Furthermore, if Virtual Views can help hospital patients, visitors and staff reduce their stress levels, these same benefits can be carried over to other public spaces such as governmental buildings, workplaces and the hospitality industry as well.
Although Debra has extensive experience as an artist who established and maintained a successful business in the book publishing industry for many years, she is new to creating artwork that specifically targets nonresidential interior designers. Debra plans to gain valuable insight and feedback from this market by presenting Virtual Views to as many designers as possible in the premier Northeastern Design Centers located in Hartford, Boston and Manhattan during the first quarter of 2017.
No matter what the industry, success means staying ahead of the competition. Virtual Views will be competing against a variety of art-based business that target interior designers.
Fortunately, Virtual Views stands out from other artwork in a number of ways. Presenting framed photography that incorporates motion is highly unusual and captivating. Consider two images of a Koi Fish mounted on the wall. One is a still image and the other shows the fish as it gracefully swims across the frame. Which one would people find more unique and appealing? Since watching nature has been proven to reduce stress levels, doesn’t it stand to reason that simulating the experience of looking through a window would recreate the experience of viewing nature more closely than that of a landscape painting? Virtual views has another advantage over other artwork since just one frame is a “window” with hundreds of different “views”. The owner of each Virtual Views unit can change their “views” at any time by downloading new images form the Virtual Views website for just $35 per image. This provides variety and keeps the artwork fresh.
The world of art provides an infinite variety of media, styles and subject matter. Coming from a very competitive industry of book cover art, Debra is no stranger to competition. She knows that Virtual Views may not appeal to everyone, but is confident that her unique vision and style of presenting nature based scenes with Virtual Views will stand out from the competition.
● Unique and innovative art form using State-of-the-Art Technology
● One frame can display a variety of images
● Virtual Views brings nature indoors which improves windowless interiors i.e. waiting rooms, reception areas and offices
● Nature based scenes are aesthetically appealing to a broad demographic
● Nature and nature-based artwork has been proven to reduce stress levels & offer healing benefits
● Based on 5 years of consistent & positive feedback, the public finds Virtual Views “Relaxing” & Mesmerizing”
● Owner/Creator of Virtual Views has solid background in establishing and maintaining a successful art-based business
● Demonstrating Virtual Views in person is the optimal way to promote the business
● Artwork requires electronics to be displayed
● Electrical Cord is unappealing
● Virtual Views require a warranty, manual and tech support
● Owner/Creator of Virtual Views has no prior experience with specific target market
● State buildings in Connecticut and other states are required to allocate for works of art, a minimum of 1% of the total estimated cost of construction, reconstruction or remodeling. ● Nonresidential construction spending is expected to rise in 2017 as predicted by ABC Chief Economist
● Pilot project with hospital will provide valuable experience and feedback
● Targeting interior designers of nonresidential spaces should result in contracts for large quantities
● Product can be updated or expanded by easily adding more content from website● Many ways to expand business in future
● Competing artwork for nonresidential spaces
● Emerging video-based artwork
● Printed artwork (i.e. posters) available at lower prices
● Liability of misuse of product
● Failure of the Electronics
Strategy & Implementation
Virtual Views has received consistently positive feedback from thousands of people who have viewed this unique artwork since 2011. In 2017 Virtual Views plans to focus its research on collecting feedback from its current target audience of interior designers for nonresidential spaces. In September 2017, feedback and data from the hospital pilot project will also be reviewed and factored into its marketing strategies.
There are two directions that Virtual Views can take in its future promotion and marketing approach. One direction requires funding and will expedite the company’s success. The other approach, without funding, will maintain a slow and steady pace in promoting Virtual View to interior designers. See below for more details of each approach:
Marketing Strategy with Funding:
Virtual Views requires approximately $16,000, which will be used to update equipment, build three working prototypes, pay for new website and printed marketing materials, hire an Intellectual Property Attorney for Trademark search/registration & business development, and cover the costs associated with exhibiting at the NeoConEast Exposition on November 15 -16 2017. Time is of the essence, and receiving this funding will help launch the Virtual Views business and keep it ahead of the competition.
Marketing Strategy without Funding:
Virtual Views will continue to use outdated camera until funds are available to purchase updated equipment. Virtual Views will continue to demonstrations on outdated prototype and show videos of hospital installation in lieu of other prototypes until additional funding is available. Debra will pay Intellectual Property Lawyer to research Trade Mark then proceed with logo design, website and marketing materials. Debra will set up individual appointments with interior designers in the New England area. Limited funding will come from Virtual Views sales, fine art income and Ebay income.
Virtual View Product Description
Virtual Views will offer two different products using HD displays from two different companies:
1) Virtual Views using Meural Displays: Meural is a new company with a self-contained framed digital display unit that can be shipped directly to Customer location with no assembly required. Imagery can be uploaded directly to each display via internet either from the client site or the Virtual Views Studio.
- Less Expensive – Prices start at $830 per unit
- Self-contained, framed display ready to mount on wall
- Drop shipments can be made directly to customer site
- Built in light sensor adjusts to light in room for flat even lighting
- Easy navigation through “views” with gesture control or smartphone app
- Programmable time line and Auto-off feature
- Automatically resumes playing when turned on.
- Seamless video looping
- Display has the value-add of an extensive collection of digital reproductions of classical and modern works of art.
- New Company - has been selling units for one year only
- Does not run continuously for 24/7
- Available in one size only
2) Virtual Views using Samsung Display System
Samsung is well established in the electronics industry and provides a reliable commercial grade monitor rated for 24/7 continuous use. Samsung units will be part of a modular-based Virtual Views unit that includes a player, SD card with Imagery, wooden frame, mounting hardware and cables. These units will be assembled in the Virtual Views studio and then shipped to the client site.
- Established and reliable electronics company
- Commercial/professional digital display proven for 24/7 continuous use
- Superior clarity and display quality even in bright environments
- Automatically resumes playing when turned on.
- Multiple displays can be synchronized for images that move from one frame to another
- Multiple sizes available
- More Expensive – Prices start at $1560 per unit
- Samsung displays do not include frame
- 3rd party player required for seamless looping
- Additional mounting hardware and cables required
- Navigation through artwork not available. Artwork is changed or updated by swapping SD cards
- Units must be assembled and shipped from the Virtual Views studio
Meural-based Virtual Views
One Unit with 8 different views $830
10 Units with 8 different views on each $7000
Samsung-based Virtual Views
1 Unit with 8 different views $1560
10 Units with 8 different views on each $14,500
Profit will be the same for both the Meural-based units and Samsung-based Units. The price for the “views” (images) are currently $35 each and represent 100% profit. The minimum profit/commission for each digital display will be $50. This profit will remain consistent even if Meural or Samsung change their pricing. The only factor that will affect profits will be the pricing for the “views”(images). This price may be reduced for special offers or quantity discounts. The prices may be lowered or raised to match competitive pricing. At the current prices, below are the details for the Virtual Views profits:
Individual Unit Total Profit
One display with 8 different views (minimum order) Total profit
Commission on display $50 $50
Profit from each “view” $35 $280
Total Profit for each unit $330
10 Units - Package Price
10 Units with 8 different views on each
Commission on displays $50 x 10 $500
Profit from each “view” $35 x 10 $2800
Total Profit for a package of 10 units $3300
Views (images only)
Additional “views” (images) are available at $35/each $35 per download
Since Virtual Views will be targeting designers and decision makers of large nonresidential spaces, quantities for each order are expected to exceed ten units. Once Virtual Views are installed, promotional marketing will be sent periodically to existing clients encouraging them to purchase additional “views” for their displays to keep the artwork “fresh”. A subscription service for the imagery may be offered on the website to encourage future purchases.
If Virtual Views is an exhibitor at the NeoConEast show in November 2017, the company will connect with thousands of potential buyers. According to the NeoCon show statistics, 38% of the 7000 attendees are architects & interior designers of nonresidential spaces. This means that Virtual Views can reach 2660 decision makers from its target audience during the show. If just 1% of this group places an order for 10 Virtual Views units each, the total sales from this show would be 260 units. The total profit for 260 units with 8 views on each unit would total $85,800.
Contracted talent and other resources will be established before the NeoConEast Exposition to meet demands if sales exceed expectations.
Virtual Views plans to expand over time on a variety of ways. First, the number of “views” available for download from the website will increase and offer a new variety of scenery and subject matter on a continual basis. In the future, Virtual Views plans to launch a new line of Commissioned Virtual Views that are framed in One-of-A-Kind mixed media frames. In 2018, Virtual Views plans to offer the option of streaming video that will provide real time video views from resorts located throughout the United States. And, of course, Virtual Views will continue to use the latest digital displays to offer clients cutting edge artwork with state-of-the-art technology.