Neu-Isenburg, Germany – The LSG Group is working on introducing concepts and products to its clients in the near future using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) during workshops. As in any typical presentation, participants can move freely through the room and explore the company’s new products, but without the need to travel and in compliance with all social distancing rules.
In order to bring dishes, trays and in-flight equipment into virtual reality, they must be professionally illuminated and photographed. From an elaborate main course to a simple bread roll, every single component is captured on a turntable up to 400 times in 10k resolution. These composite shots create a detailed digital image that looks photorealistic in virtual space. “In addition to digitizing existing products, 3D prototypes of non-food products that don’t even exist yet can be created,” said Dr. Jan Christoph Meyer, Head of Global Product & Service Development at the LSG Group.
There are two ways to participate in virtual presentations: Customers can be provided with VR glasses, controllers and other equipment to help them navigate through the presentation room and immerse themselves completely in virtual reality. If physical interaction is not possible, however, participation via tools like Microsoft Teams or Zoom can also be arranged.
All that is needed for augmented reality is an ordinary smartphone or tablet. 3D products can thus be brought to life anywhere with the camera. All you need is a corresponding app. Instagram and Facebook, among others, support this feature.
Virtual reality concept development and product presentations offer numerous advantages. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, they allow social distancing and support the home-office policy of many companies. In addition, they save on travel expenses. “We are bringing people and products together at a time when we need to distance ourselves and do it in a sustainable way,” explained Frank Theis, Head of Customer and Sales Transformation at LSG Group.
Communicating with each other in a variety of ways is also possible through virtual reality. Each participant is given an avatar through which he or she is visible to the other people in the room. This virtual twin can even carry things around, label whiteboards and sticky notes. It can also interact with the other participants and invite them to a private conversation in a separate room.
However, the VR offshoots are not intended to be a substitute for “real” product presentations, points out Robin Sippel, Head of Global Procurement Digitalization, Data Management & Tools. “We rather see the tool as a supplement to a conversation when touching, smelling and tasting do not play a central role. Of course, these are things that cannot be simulated even with the best 3D technology. At least not yet, I should perhaps say.”