A virtual showroom stood front and centre when Ovako inaugurated its new visitor centre in Hofors in February 2019. When visitors put on a virtual reality headset, they find themselves in all of Ovako's different production locations in Sweden and Finland and can experience central parts of the productions line as though they were actually there.
'We have added entirely new opportunities to present our operations by taking our visitors on a virtual factory tour through Ovako's production flows. We believe strongly in the VR technology's possibilities for the future and the tours have been very well-received. The collaboration with CLVR Works and IVAR Studios on the production has worked well and we are proud of the final product,' says Göran Nyström, Vice President of Marketing and Technology at Ovako.
Synchronised visits for several people at the same time
The virtual visits are 3-8 minutes long with a narrator voice that guides the visitor through the different factory processes in English or Swedish. The VR headsets are also synchronised and controlled by a touch pad and up to 8 visitors can take the same tour at the same time. All virtual visits are produced by IVAR Studios in high-quality stereoscopic 360 video, which gives a strong sense of presence compared to traditional film.
'We are proud that we have contributed with high technical quality and that we were given the opportunity to be a part of developing the user experience in this VR visit. Our goal is always to elevate the experience with VR - and it means that the moment of playback and the workflow at the visitor centre are at least as important as the quality of the films,' says Fredrik Edström, Creative Producer at IVAR Studios.
In addition to using VR tours in their visitor centre, Ovako uses the material at various trade fairs to give visitors the same opportunity to experience the different production locations. In doing so, Ovako can conveniently offer anyone, anywhere in the world the opportunity to step into one of the steel plants.
'With a new narrative approach and by adding ground-breaking VR technology, we have created an entirely new, user-friendly and scalable service. At CLVR Works, we work daily with business development and project management of smart, value-creating VR applications and Ovako's specific solution has potential to revolutionise the way that companies and organisations communicate and spread knowledge on a broad front,' says Viktor Peterson, President of CLVR Works.
Visual Arena as a collaborative platform
It was at an event at Visual Arena that CLVR Works and OVAKO could converge and immediately see the possibilities for collaboration.
'Visual Arena as a collaborative platform is a very rewarding environment for finding expertise, networks and actual companies in a nuanced sector. Obviously, we are also delighted to have found a really good partner in Ovako, thanks to Visual Arena, where we have broken entirely new ground together with respect to visualisation using virtual reality,' says Viktor Peterson.