View into the virtual future

For many, virtual reality is still considered pure fiction. In fact, however, it has long since arrived in the present.

If human reality is expanded with Augmented Reality (AR), it is completely changed with Virtual Reality (VR). By means of glasses acting as a monitor, the user steps into a visually hermetically sealed artificially generated (ergo: virtual) world of images. For our perception, dominated by visual experiences, this is an overwhelming experience. The perspective changes with every turn of the head, with every inclination. Although people are aware of the artificial character of the images – the resolution is far from convincing – we nevertheless accept the virtual realities.

Thus, with the help of digital technology, test series can be set up in which shops, shelf arrangements and the presentation of different packaging can be tested in variations without the need for physical buildings and the associated costly conversions. Packaging tests can be carried out in this way, as can the behaviour of the customer at the virtual point of sale:  A consumer enters a virtual supermarket, orientates himself, sees shelves, approaches one of them and picks up a certain article in a certain packaging.  The placement of the products and the design of the packaging can be changed depending on the objective and course of the “test purchases”.  In this way, the ideal packaging can be defined very efficiently.

Thimm Group GmbH + Co KG from Northeim uses VR for maintenance of digital printing machines. Michael Weber, Head of Corporate Marketing at the international supplier of transport and sales packaging made of corrugated board, explained the procedure: “The service technicians of our machine manufacturer HP are based in America. Our machines are located in Europe. In order to minimize downtimes during maintenance, our production employees use virtual reality glasses. This allows HP service technicians to see our machines live. In the glasses themselves, our employees are shown the work steps to be completed. For example, which part has to be removed from the warehouse and where in the machine it has to be installed. An enormous time saving for us and therefore also for our customers”.

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