Using virtual reality to showcase large objects helps make better purchase decisions. VR Warehouse Showroom additionally supports multiplayer mode, so users can explore industrial machines over large distances remotely.
Remote Product Presentation in Virtual Reality
Over the last few years, the world has gotten used to conducting transactions remotely. And when remote solutions offer an increasingly easier way of getting to know a product better, the remote becomes almost on par with the physical.
Especially now, when the concept of the metaverse becomes a useful medium for a broad variety of operations, virtual reality products acquire tangible business value.
Virtual Reality Warehouse Showroom is a multiplayer VR environment created in collaboration with Schindler Creations, an agency building digital and physical experiences.
In a VR Warehouse, a seller can walk the buyer through a virtual warehouse in a metaverse and showcase different products.
During product presentation in the VR Warehouse Showroom, the seller and the buyer can:
- Can discuss the product in further detail
- View its dimensions against real-sized spaces and objects
- Learn about the product’s specification
How We Built the VR Warehouse Showroom
We wrote the application in Unity, which is immensely helpful in 3D development, and used the Oculus package.
Here are the exact steps:
- Prepared the multiplayer mode with using Photon Engine, integrated the multiplayer with Oculus Avatars
- Implemented pathfinding that leads the user to specific places in the app
- Designed UI for the application
- Optimized graphics for VR to get both good performance and appearance
- Uploaded the application to the Oculus Developer Hub to facilitate sharing the application for testing
When to Use the VR Warehouse Showroom
Industrial machines showcase
Although the specifications and performance capabilities make or break a deal, knowing how a bulky equipment with fit in with the rest of the setup in a factory helps the buyer make the decision to buy. In the VR Warehouse Viewer, the buyer can also discuss the machine in further details, with specific elements of it's operation explained in detail
Immersive product discussions over distances
In the VR Warehouse Showroom, manufacturers can discuss the product and visualize it in different environments. This gives them greater insight into potential challenges to fit into particularly demanding contexts and applications.
Presentation of alternative design choices
When participating in the VR Warehouse Showroom experience, viewers can immerse themselves in and explore innovative and alternative design choices. The VR-powered immersion gives viewers a better perspective on how design choices affect functional changes and whether they fit in with the overall harmony of the product.
Challenges with Building the VR Warehouse Showroom
Design with VR in Mind
How you design applications for VR is completely different from creating AR experiences. First, you must consider the obvious — that the user isn't running the application on a computer or smartphone, they're actually in the app, their vision replaced with virtual images. So during design, we knew we should use as much of the virtual space as possible, for example, by creating intuitive onboarding that guides the user through the application.
Creating the pathfinding in the onboarding process brought additional challenges. The last onboarding step in the tutoriali s to approach a machine and pick up a tablet. But how to do it when the user’s location in the warehouse isn’t fixed? We used an algorithm that leads the user to the machine regardless of the user's location.
Hardware-Specific Optimization for Oculus Quest 2
The VR Warehouse Showroom is an app for Oculus Quest 2, which has components similar to high-end smartphones, but from a few years ago. The device's performance leaves a lot to wish for, and we spent a lot of time figuring out how to retain the performance while not compromising the quality of the 3D models.
But the biggest challenge when building the VR Warehouse Showroom was implementing the collaboration feature. To the rescue came Meta’s available set of tools that we relied on to create the multiplayer mode. We also integrated the avatars available on the Meta platform. Removing the need to build a separate avatar setup process, saved a lot of time. This left us more resources to focus on the product aspects. Every user of the VR experience can freely customize their look and express themselves accordingly.