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XR-based digital twin of Tampa built by IMERZA using Unreal Engine

IMERZA has created a world-first XR-based digital twin for Tampa’s Water Street development, leveraging Unreal Engine at its core.


An XR-based digital twin of Tampa is a first-of-its-kind installation combining a 3D printed model of the Water Street Tampa area with projected real-time mapping and data visualizations rendered with the Unreal Engine.

The developers can use the digital twin with city planners, property buyers, outdoor advertisers, and more, including design consultants and community groups.

XR-based Digital Twin

The installation is found amongst the restaurants, shops, and food stalls of Sparkman Wharf, where Strategic Property Partners (SPP) are showcasing the XR installation as its crown jew inside its high-tech marketing center in the company’s headquarters.

XR-based digital twin

IMERZA’s XR-immersive model of Tampa.

At the touch of a screen, the digital twin’s imagery can be projected onto the 17-foot diameter physical model. Two large video walls encircle the model display and synchronize real-time 3D views looking out across the city from any floor of any individual building, while the physical model shows a projected view cone from the same building. (see images next page).

The installation combines 3D-printed replicas, project mapping, and real-time rendering technology and is the largest and most sophisticated model of its kind known to be developed to date.

Digital Twin Purposes

SPP is the company behind the multibillion-dollar Water Street Tampa development. The projection-mapped scale model of Tampa enables SPP to show data in real-time and offers the flexibility to change as the design of the 56-acre development evolves over the next five years.

The model is used in numerous ways, including conversations around real estate sales and leasing, meetings with city planners, internal design reviews sessions, billboard advertising, and much more. The data contained in the digital twin is useful to the processes of both sales, design collaboration, and city reviews.

XR-based digital twin

The XR-IMERZA digital twin can highlight any range of buildings and their data and visuals.

SPP turned to IMERZA a company that focuses on experiential technology for real-estate, seeking to leverage its expertise in this area. The company partnered with DCBolt, a project-mapping expert and they both created all the custom software and content for the project.

The Physical Model

The 3D-printed physical model is an accurate replica of Tampa. It is designed and fabricated in a modular way to allow for easy replacement of future-phase buildings as they are designed.

Real-time rendering the visualizations projected onto the model removes the need to re-render hundreds of animations when something changes in the city, reducing the overall cost of the project to a fraction of what it would take if the content was rendered traditionally. (see the video next page)

next page: IMERZA’s Process, Unreal Engine, and Ray Tracing

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