Friday, March 20, 2020

Why Watermarks Matter in the Virtual World

                  Watermarks help protect the ‘intellectual property’ of your images – virtual or real!
Through placing a ‘watermark logo’ on your virtual images, makes it difficult for anyone to copy them.  Watermarks can be an important tool that greatly reduces the chances of someone taking your photos/images and using them unscrupulously without your permission.  In addition, they can be used to ensure what is Real and what is Virtual.

Quite simply there are 3 ways watermarks can be used effectively:-
·        Watermarks deter your photo/image being copied or reproduced
·        Watermark logos - displayed the same way each time on all photos/images – become your brand, or signature
·        Watermarks assist in the identification of what is ‘Real’ and what is ‘Virtual

Virtual Renovation Service – use of watermarks
One such company using Watermarquee watermarks successfully in the virtual world, is Australian start-up Proptech group:  PerfectRoom.  This virtual renovation service provides Realtors with a 3D photo-realistic image of the ‘potential’ for a property which is for sale. 

Such a virtual renovation maybe to update elements of a home including floor coverings; painting of walls; updated appliances; as well as removal of walls to expose a home’s true renovation potential.

Unlike Virtual Staging – where an ‘existing’ space is filled with amazing furnishings;  with Virtual Renovation, walls are removed and the entire space of a home may be redesigned or repurposed.
Here, entire walls are removed; window treatments added; light fittings included, and floor coverings changed.

The original photo is superimposed in the form of a watermark with the words, ‘Actual Room’ and the ‘PerfectRoom logo’ together with the words ‘3D visual’ is displayed on the 3D virtual image.  

Watermarks are used to clarify which is which!  Real ‘vs’ Virtual
Such watermark labelling also assists with not misleading any potential buyers.  It is clear to a home searcher – which is the Actual Room and which is the 3D Virtual Renovation Room.  This is very important so everyone is clear on what they are seeing (and potentially buying).
Why Watermarks Matter in the Virtual World
Given these images are posted on Instagram and Real Estate sites, it is imperative that all efforts are made to protect those images.  Just because it is a ‘virtual’ image – doesn’t make it any less important than a real photo.  It still needs protecting from someone stealing it for their own use.

Just as in an advertisement for a property for sale, the agent may use a company logo watermark to clearly identify the IP ownership of a particular photo.  This watermark logo clearly identifies them as the copyright owner of that photo.

What about in the ‘virtual world’?
So too in the virtual world.  With every PerfectRoom being an individual design – the end result needs protection from theft.  Here, a watermark is a major deterrent from being used illegally as well as not misleading any potential buyers.
This is imperative for the real estate platforms as well, given the high-quality 3D photo-realistic images can often be hard to distinguish from the originals. Perfect Property, Irelands fastest growing real estate platform uses watermarks to ensure the integrity for both their buyers and sellers.

In Summary
Safeguarding your work is important.  Watermarking is a major part of protecting your ‘virtual’ images and therefore guarding your work.  In addition, it can be used for identification and to build your branding.