VR, So Near: Wake up to the New Reality

Startups coming up with virtual reality solutions as cos embrace new tech

Consider this: you have just purchased a parcel of land to construct your dream house. Now, imagine being able to walk into your yet-to-be constructed house, designing the interiors, setting up your furniture, trying out different light fittings, and customising the layout of the house just the way you want it. Sounds like science fiction, right?
Japspanese-funded real estate firm Developer Group lets its prospective buyers do just that for its latest project on the Chennai-Bengaluru highway. By strapping on glasses and a headset, a buyer checks out the minutest of details, including how his apartment will be lit at any given time of the day. “While the customer is immersed in the virtual environment, we can talk to them and understand their needs and likings much better. This helps us buy 20-25 minutes more time with the customer, this is the biggest advantage,” said Ankur Maheshwari, senior vice-president of Developer Group.

Welcome to the world of Virtual Reality (VR) ­ a technology that is being adopted by a host of industries in India from real estate to heavy industry, from interior design to gaming.

And what’s more exciting is the fact that a bunch of startups are coming up with solutions in the space.

For instance, the visualisation solution for Developer Group was done by Noida based VR solutions startup SmartVizX.A few other startups like GreyKernel, Meraki and GazeMatic, which specialise in virtual reality solutions, have also come up in the last few years. Typically, the cost of development of VR solutions ranges between Rs 10 lac and Rs 2 crore, depending on the complexity of the applications.

India’s largest industrial overhead crane manufacturer ElectroMech uses VR to take customers on a virtual tour of their factories. Before purchasing cranes, ElectroMech’s customers typically fly down to take a look at the company’s factory in Pune. “Now with the help of VR, we have actually taken the factory to their cabin,” said Tushar Mehendale, managing director of ElectroMech. By sporting the VR headgear, buyers take a virtual walk through the shop floor, stroll around the bay area and look at various machines in the factory. “VR has helped customers cut down on their travel expense and has increased our credibility in the market,“ Mehendale added.

In the past one month alone, ElectroMech has been able to showcase their factory to customers in Germany, Kenya, Uganda and Iran ­ thanks to the new technology. ElectroMech’s VR soultion was designed by SmartVizX, which raised $500,000 in angel funding in March.

In addition to heavy industries, VR is a natural fit for businesses which put a premium on customer experience like the furniture business. Take online furniture store Urban Ladder, for instance. The Bengaluru-based company says the use of augmented reality ­the same technology used in the Pokemon Go game ­ has helped boost product sales by 40%.

Using the company’s mobile app, customers can visualise how a particular sofa or chair would fit in their drawing room. “Unlike furniture, kitchen and wardrobes are typically in a house which is under construction. Here, the user would like to visualise a virtual world of how the kitchen would be and how they would use it,” said Urban Ladder CIO Rajiv Srivatsa, adding that the company has put together an in-house VR team which has developed an app for kitchen and wardrobe solutions that will be launched next quarter.

Bengaluru-based Stumpp, Schuele & Somappa (SSS) has been using VR for nearly four years, said Sri Karumbati, CIO at SSS Group. The group is developing a product to do comprehensive interior design using VR tools. “Customers can wear the headgear and try out different themes before zeroing in on what type of interior to choose,” said Karumbati.

Source: The Economic Times (Delhi)

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Author:

Neeraj; an entrepreneur & a visionary in the field of Railway, Defense & Automobiles, is a graduate in commerce and a Harvard Business School Alumni. He’s an expert in govt. liasoning & contracting and has an exceptional network & connections at both local as well as global level. He’s an expert in Market Strategy & Planning and has served number of overseas companies as an advisor/consultant. He takes a profound interest in upcoming startups & is very receptive towards ground-breaking ideas & innovations. He likes to brainstorm those ideas and if the values & philosophies matches; he is even ready to invest his resources, serve as a mentor or act as an incubator to futuristic businesses.

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