I wasn’t kidding when I came up with this title – I think I really found a company that’s pioneering future methods for sales and planning for particular segments of the AV industry. The company is World Viz: Interactive Virtual Reality. They are embracing the current rapid advance in affordable and high-quality virtual reality hardware.
World Viz takes the Oculus Rift and adds motion tracking cameras to add in-simulation 1:1 walking. The off-the-shelf Oculus Rift headset itself only includes head motion tracking for looking. Currently you are required to wear a fanny-pack of some equipment and you are tethered to an umbilical cord. But that’s the sort of thing that will be worked out soon as things start progressing to wireless in future upgrades.
The application demo is incredible. After putting on the glasses – you find yourself on a metal platform that rockets into the air. You then physical walk across a balance beam. The 1:1 movement is uncanny and your brain is telling you that you are 50 feet in the air. Stepping off the “platform” is also a strange experience.
Where this crosses the line from entertainment to something that will earn your business real money is preview and simulation for clients. The company World Viz provides both hardware and software services. If you provide them CAD or other 3D files, they will translate your project into a 1:1 replica of the final product for walkthrough. This can even include lighting and mechanical simulations. Any large install can benefit from mockups of large stages, house of worship auditoriums, board rooms, lighting and any speaker placement that may be difficult for clients to envision on paper.
This technology is just taking its first adult-steps into the practical realm from the utterly ridiculous attempts in the 90’s we all remember. To be fair, I think the current generation of googles needs to be less bulky to really shed those associations with the cultural cheese that was early VR. I would recommend giving this company a call and getting an in-person demo to really appreciate what’s possible. This type of technology may be what you need to convince a large client that your company is on the cutting edge and land a contract.