Designing is one of the most important areas that a lot of businesses focus on nowadays when it comes to a lot of things - floor plans, social media images, video graphics, and many more. But this software called Bubbles made by BOOM Interactive, founded by Timber Barker, can help you make designing easier and makes communications and sales faster as an entrepreneur.
In this episode, Timber shares how they came up with the idea of the Bubbles software, how it works, and how it can help entrepreneurs close sales easier and #getnoticed.
A bonus episode with the demo of Bubbles was also uploaded on our YouTube channel - https://youtu.be/Qt09O9-NDoE
Post-production, transcript and show notes by XCD Virtual Assistants
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Hello, and welcome to this episode of The UnNoticed Entrepreneur. Today, I'm welcoming Timber Barker, who is building the creative Sandbox in the Metaverse. Timber Barker, welcome to the show. Hey, thanks for having me on, Jim. I appreciate this. No, you are more than welcome. And I had to look at my notes again to make sure I'm saying the right thing. A creative Sandbox in the Metaverse. Tell us about "BOOM Interactive" and how entrepreneurs can get noticed using this, how you can create new categories of business, Timber? It sounds absolutely fantastic, the Metaverse. Tell us how you're doing it. Yeah, absolutely. So we've created some AI automation technology that can help the average person, the average consumer, the average client create a 3D space, and we'll just use one of our flagship products, as an example, Bubbles, which is the construction version of our software. And Bubbles' tagline is "The freedom to design your way." And so everyone talks about the Metaverse. And it's all, you got to hire a studio to do it, or you got to go hire this group to create something to put it into one of these Metaverse type companies. And Metaverse is this big, put a VR headset on, and this game experience, and things of that nature. We looked at that early on, years ago, and we were like, "We have to create something that's simple to use and too simple to consume, and is the power on your phone, and everyone has this in their pocket. So let's create a Metaverse-esque experience for that." We are the first to create that experience for the masses, and it's a Sandbox. And so, when we say it's a Sandbox, you can create and ideate on anything that you would like or need. For example, if you're doing a remodel, if you're doing a decorate project, if you are doing a new building project, we also have a version in the film industry. And the film industry is using it right now on some pretty major film sets. Actually an MGM film set, and that's all I can say about it. Can't tell you who that's with or what the name of the project is, but we're very proud of that. And they're using it for scouting, and virtual production process, stage layout, set design, and that's created just by average people on their phone using some of our AI technology. And we're very excited about it, we are the first to do it. I'm glad I'm talking to you, Jim, because it's about how can entrepreneurs use our software to create their own businesses or even supplement stuff in their striving businesses or growing businesses. And yeah, let's talk about that. Yeah, Timber, let's do that. So tell us then, you know, it sounds really pathbreaking. And you've shown me a video, and we've got a YouTube video, and I'm going to append the demonstration that you've given us of how Bubbles works, where it takes a 2D and makes a 3D rendering. It's amazing. So, Timber, so many possibilities for the entrepreneur. Do you want to take us through some case studies? Because, I think, until you've done that, people can't really visualise the power of what Bubbles and this software's going to be. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we didn't have a product name in the beginning. We didn't even have a name for the technology, and we've actually started this the end of 2018. So we've been working on this for quite a while. We've stayed dark for quite a while. In the very beginning, we started using the construction version, branded it "Bubbles" in early 2019. I want to say January, 2019. Created the brand, Bubbles, and we started using it with a custom home builder here in Salt Lake City. And they had some unique issues and unique problems, and we wanted to solve the problem. And there's still no affordable or easy way to visualize your space or your design without hiring, you know, professionals, kind of early on. And what we were looking at, were like, "Hey, is there more things people can do to get ready for those meetings to reduce the time?" And the biggest key factor in the software, especially with AI that we've created, is to reduce the design discovery time. Instead of five weeks of back and forth with a very expensive professional, let's shorten that time. Now professionals might hear that and say, "Oh, it's going to replace my profession." No, it's not. What we're doing is that we're a bridge between clients and professionals. Professionals, if you can handle more work using our software by reducing time, or you can take more time off and spend with your family. So our software only helps, again, speed up that design and discovery phase. So the first use case to go back to that for you is using it with clients. Just normal people, average person, who can't ideate and visualize their kitchen six months before the first nail. And so they used our software to help them figure out what that looks like, and they did it on their own. And they had a good template now to take to their kitchen designer, to take to their general contractor, to take to their installer. There's multiple people that saw this single three-dimensional asset that was created by their own minds. Think of it like Pinterest. You know, everybody and Pinterest is great, house is great, the Internet's great for ideation, for inspiration and gathering inspiration, and creating these inspiration boards, and all that kind of stuff. We take it that next level. And we're like, "Go get inspired on online and see what other people have done, what you, what they like, and then use our software on your own in 3D, in your space." Make your selections, make your decisions. If you'd like a photo-realistic 3D render, you can order one of those through us, which we are going to reduce the cost of those. And then you, now you have a template for the next meeting. Now go hire a designer, draftsman, architect, you know, and it works both ways. So if an architect was using it and their clients weren't using it, they could use this to give the project over just with an email. And it's free for people to sign up, it's free for people to use, and they can have this entire 3D experience with their architect without having to come in or do a screen share of CAD or Revit, and that was the first use case. Then I made the mistake of showing some of my film buddies, and I showed them. I just say, "Hey, take a look at what I'm doing in the construction space with our technology." And they were like, "We want our own version." And then we're like, "Oh, okay, well, they're going to want their own version, their own product. Let's create a master company. Let's create a parent company." And so we created BOOM Interactive and we put all the IP up there. And we can license that technology out to different sectors, to different markets. And the applications of it, there are a lot of construction, film, education, public safety, government, we're even talking to a group for mining. And then, in each one of those, there's abilities to kind of white label versions for even industry sector sectors, if that makes sense. And I'll give you an example. So with Bubbles, as a consumer product, it's a very heavily DIY. It's going to be used with architects, draftsmen, and designers to interact with their clients. There's a whole subset of clients in the commercial real estate sales or even the commercial design space, and the clients there are kind of a different ecosystem. And so we can create a white label of Bubbles, you know, something, whatever it's branded and whatever it's named, Powered by Bubbles. And then we can launch it to that entire subset of that market, and they can have their own version with the same underlying technology that we've created for everybody, which, again, is a Sandbox to ideate very quickly. So, Timber, you've gone sort of straight into some of the major news and benefits there. But from just a practical point of view, when you say, an individual like me can ideate, say, on my iPad using Bubbles. From a practical point of view, is it like going into Canva be able to do that in 3D? Is it going to require like a really intensive course to learn how to use it? Just tell us how accessible it is. Because it sounds amazing what it's doing, I just want to make sure that we can really understand the kind of the school level required. No, that's a great question. Thanks for asking that, because we've spent, you know, better part of a little a year and a half showing this to people, showing the very beginnings of these things. And yes, it was more of a B2B thing in the very beginning, but we are building out the consumer version that we're going to launch very soon. And also we're video game developers, video game designers, developers, between the entire team, we have 31 digital products that have launched. We know how to do this. We know how to make a very complex experience down into bite-sized, little, you know, chunks of information and things of that nature. And so when we launch this, we see this as much like a digital kind of a video game launch, where we're going to give you a first-time user experience to teach you these very basic interactions, very basic movements. It's you have your real-time 3D editor. And in that scene, you can rotate the scene around, you can pinch and zoom in. You can do this on your phone as well. Same exact experience on the phone. There are 3D model ribbons. And what that means is you can do and you can have a design ribbon where you can place walls, windows, doors, things that don't generally, you don't really move around a lot. Then we have a decor ribbon of additional 3D models and we keep everything in grayscale. We don't put all these crazy textures on it. These cartoony textures or these realistic textures, which are going to, you know, kill your phone battery. We keep everything in grayscale and we're like, "Look the negative space that we all can't see sometimes, and we can't visualize it, now you can with our software. You can just literally space plan your office right now using our software." And so, Jim, if you had it, you can just turn around in your chair. If you have a LiDar enabled phone, like the new iPhones, I have one. I could just scan the room I'm in right this second and accurately measures everything it creates - the walls, windows, and doors. And you can move them. You can move a wall, you can move a window, you can move a door. We are the first to go from a LiDar scan or an AR feature. Because you can also do it with AR if you don't have a LiDar phone, we're the first to let you edit it after you've created your scene. And then we're the first to produce these digital sticky notes, and with the commercial version is called "Bubbles." So those individual Bubbles you're creating all over the place, and the film version they're called "zeros." As you're placing these Bubbles around the room and every single one of those Bubbles is your vision. You can put a picture on it, you can put a video on it, you can link out to whatever you want online. You can put notes, you can put additional details, product information in there if you'd like. Budgets in there, if you'd like. All at the individual bubble level or the individual asset level. And the reason we created that was because when we first made it, we were like, "Wait a second, there's a lot going on even in just one corner of a room." There's like six things going on, from maybe two different floor colors, couple different products. You have your floor, you have your light, your wall colors. And you have a lot going on. And when you're looking at a 2D floor plan, it's very hard to define everything that you need to do. So in 3D, we've created digital sticky notes, these Bubbles, if you will, place those all around and put your design in there right now. So going back to how easy it is to use, we built it for everybody to be able to quickly ideate, quickly use that, and then from there, reach out to a pro. Have that conversation when you're ready with a professional. I don't know if I answered your question, but we made it really easy. And that's yet to be seen, obviously there. Well, and we, obviously, we are going to embed the video, so that's great. People can see that on the YouTube channel, and we'll put the link to the UnNoticed videos as well. But Timber, then, so it's relatively easy, and I love the fact, you can even take a picture and it becomes inside the environment. From a commercial point of view, if I'm, for example, wanting to organise in-store displays in retail, which at the minute takes quite a lot of work, and especially having done exhibition booth designs before, you have to do expensive drawings and the client wants to move things around, you have to redraw them again. Can you just take us through how would Bubbles work from an entrepreneur's point of view, in terms of helping both to sort of promote what they're offering and to convert the customer through the ideation phase into the execution phase? In the beginning of that question, it's kind of like exactly what you said - you can ideate anything. So if it is a retail space and we actually are partnering with a very well-known family here in the States, and we are creating a retail version of our software that's going to be used. Any retailer, can use this behind the scenes to quickly ideate in 3D, send that over to an external art team to create high-fidelity 3D renders or 3D models, and get that back into the project and then continue to ideate from there. A DIYer who's doing it, or somebody even with a small coffee shop or with a small clothing shop can also use this. This isn't just for the big boys and big gals. It's like for average people to use and quickly ideate and get ready for that next meeting, which again, doesn't replace the pros. So yes, we're looking at a retail side of that as well. I think I mentioned earlier the commercial real estate sales. Let's talk about that for a second. So, we looked at nine offices last week, and a lot of these buildings are unfurnished, and they're just pillars. And we're like, "Oh, this is a great 20,000 square feet or 10,000 square feet," whatever it was. And we're trying to visualize how many people can fit in. Of course, the agent's like, "Oh, well, the last group had 50 people in here, or you can probably fit in this many people." And you don't know if that's true or not. You know, we're not going to go hire a designer right away in a space that we may not even rent or lease. So we, live, in doing this with agents last week, they would hand us a pamphlet with just a floor plan drawn out. We would take a picture of it with our phone that would come up in 3D. We created very simple, two-scale desk models. We have like 15 different types of desk models and we're quickly dropping those in to see how many people we can fit in the space before we even left the visit or the site visit. We did that nine times, and we found one that we really liked, and it was just me and a couple of our team leads that were looking at that, and I was able to bring that back and then show the entire team the floor plan in 3D, created the POV walkthrough, which is just the mannequin you can throw down and you can walk through it. And so now the entire team was able to see the building without everyone going and looking at the building, and we built this in four minutes. So you can imagine what this does on the real estate sales side, where you know, these agents that are showing the space that a potential client can show up and they can have three or four different configurations and send those to them and be like, "Hey, here you go. It's not just a pamphlet, it's all digital. Play around with it. Move walls, windows, and doors. Plan your own TI. We'll see, let's negotiate from there." I mean, this is revolutionary in that sense, and it was created not by an art team, it wasn't created by an architect, it wasn't created by a draftsman. let's shorten that sales cycle. So, so again, I will go back to the whole point of why we created this software is to reduce these meeting times. Let's reduce all these decisions. Let's get those decisions in quicker, not reduce the decision, sorry. Reduce the time that it takes to then order or the time it takes to close a sale. Now, if you think of entrepreneurs out there, you need to close sales quick and you need to show people, high end. This could be huge. Yeah, so we built it as a platform. And often, getting the client to understand what it's all going to look like is the hardest part. Because as a salesperson, you often have visualised what it could be because you had that experience, but the client doesn't understand what it could look like or they're anxious about what it might look like. So, Timber, let's just also talk about a project that you've got going on in terms of sort of sales promotion. You were sharing just before we started a record about a very interesting agreement around creating sort of sports and fan caves. You want to share it with us another application entrepreneurs could use to get their business noticed with this case study? Yeah, absolutely. So another thing that we developed and built is the ability to, I mean, because you, if you build something in 3D, you can distribute it to everybody very quickly in our platform. So why not distribute design challenges? And so we concepted this idea a couple years ago and were like, "Man, we would love to get in front of HDTV and do a deal with like Property Brothers or Chip and Joanna Gaines, it's going to be really awesome, really cool." Well, this opportunity fell in our lap with a professional sports team here in Salt Lake City. So I can now talk about it because we are under contract with them, and them with us, and very great partners. It's RSL. So Real Salt Lake's professional soccer team at the Rio Tinto Stadium, and their leadership team is amazing. Their founders are amazing, and they're really engaging with the community here and love the community here. And we just started talking about how we can facilitate a really cool design channel. So later this year, we are launching Bubbles with RSL. Bubbles will be free for everybody. We're launching it with a couple competitions, maybe one, maybe two, maybe three, maybe four. Haven't really come to figure out exactly how many competitions we're going to launch this year, but definitely, one. And in this competition think of the gladiators, right? You got this big stadium and the emperor sitting down right with the people, but the emperor's sitting in his box. And you got people to the left and you got people to the right. And this is his own box, and his own people that he can invite, his inner circle. And they're all sitting with them, and they're eating grapes, and they're watching the gladiators. So the first design competition that people will interact is "Go create your fan cave," and it'll be facilitated in this just giant space and you can drop in some 3D models that we're going to give you. You can use the just the they're called movable Bubbles. You can just drop those down. If we don't have a 3D model, and you can say, "Here's what I want on the wall." You can put a pool table over here, you can put a mini fridge over here, you can put a video game whole entire system, because you know, when the kids show up they run around, they're barely watching soccer anyway, and then you can have recliners out front. And let's have people design this in the easiest design challenge in the world. And I'm not going to spoil what the reward is, but the reward is going to be the largest competition reward that Real Salt Lake will have ever done. That sounds Sounds amazing. Am I allowed to enter from England? Yeah, we're great. Or do you have to be in Salt Lake? Okay, fantastic. I'll forward to see that. Don't quote me on that. I think you will be able to. So we have the competition lawyers. They're not, that's not a thing. I'm sorry. They're not called competition lawyers. The lawyers that are looking at how to facilitate the competitions and the rules behind all that, they're putting that together. I don't know if it's a global competition yet. Well, that I'm sure we'll do one with Manchester United or not. If you come over here, and we'll help you sort that out. Timber, final question here. If someone creates something in Bubbles using the, you know, the BOOM Interactive, can they export the file? Because it's great if it's in the environment, you want to share that, maybe export it and put it into a PowerPoint or maybe upload it to Lumen5 as a video within an overall sales presentation. Just tell us about the sort of portability of it. Yeah, I'm glad you asked that. That's actually a requested feature from a multiple different professionals in different markets. They want to be able to import models. So import you know, the standard models, the film industry has almost a completely different format. And they want us to be able to create a tool where they can import models, ideate, drop in the digital sticky notes, project manage it, and then they want to be able to export models they create with the tools that we give them. So we are going to build an import and an export tool for everyone to use, because we don't want everyone to send those to us. And then, our team has to manually put those in for you. That's just not scalable. And so we are building a tool right now that'll probably be closer to the end of the year or even the first quarter. So when we launch Bubbles, our biggest launch is to consumers launch this for free. Let's get a lot of people using it. Every few months, we are going to launch additional features for professionals. And so, this is how we make money, right? It's a SaaS model, just like Adobe, is just like Unreal, or Unity is. You buy a software seat and you have the ability to use these additional features. The model import and the model export that will definitely be a pro feature. However, going to what you said, can people put it in a slide? Absolutely, you can use it right now and just take screenshots of the 3D model you created. You can throw those screenshots as just images on. You can record your screen as a short video, so there's ways for just, you know, a free user to be able to, you know, ideate and show those different things without needing to put it into some complicated tool that, that they don't know how to use, right? Yeah, exactly. You could do a Screencast-O-Matic or a Loom, or a Descript screen capture, couldn't you? So Timber Barker, this is fascinating, and for those people listening only on audio, they'll have to close their eyes and imagine the Metaverse Sandbox you're creating. But if anyone wants to go to the YouTube account and see us, showing people, that's great. If you want to find out about you Timber Barker over the Salt Lake City and BOOM Interactive, where can they find you? So, our website, boominteractive.io. And I think I mentioned this earlier, BOOM Interactive as the parent company. We don't really say a lot. BOOM Interactive isn't a brand, right? It's all the technology, and we're going to we're going to build it into products. The Bubbles website will be out very shortly. We're still just polishing it up right now. Timber Barker, I'm excited and we will keep everybody up to date. And thank you for letting us have a sneak, you know, a sneak preview. It sounds absolutely amazing. Timber Barker, founder and CEO of the BOOM Interactive and Bubbles. Thank you so much for joining me today. You've been listening to Timber, and I've mentioned his name, Timber Barker, over there in Salt Lake City with me, Jim James, on The UnNoticed Entrepreneur show today. Thank you so much for listening. Do tune in to the next episode, and I will leave all the details in the show notes as always. Thank you for listening and keep on communicating.