You are hereVirtual Loadcells - Using Virtual Worlds to Showcase Product Lines

Virtual Loadcells - Using Virtual Worlds to Showcase Product Lines


By civile - Posted on 07 March 2009

Novatech Measurements Second Life SiteInnovative companies are beginning to realize that virtual worlds like Second Life offer the opportunity to create 3-D representations of their products at a minimal cost. These digital models can then be used to demonstrate ideas and concepts and showcase capabilities and appearance of products to existing and future customers. In addition, the social interactions offered in virtual worlds enable sales staff, through the use of an avatar, to enter virtual worlds and meet and interact with clients and potential customers. One company taking advantage of Second Life’s interactive capabilities is Novatech Measurements Limited, based in East Sussex, England.

Novatech’s in-world efforts have been led by Avariel Falcon (Second Life name)—an employee from the Electronic Office at Novatech Measurements. Falcon, who has been a resident of Second Life since August 2006, started construction of her company’s build on a 512 square meter plot on the mainland.

Novatech’s site now sits on 1584 square meters in the Clear sim (141/27/109), and today, visitors are greeted with a 3-D crane, boards displaying information about the company’s products, and an interactive, virtual loadcell display. “Initially we started building the office as a gateway to the Novatech Web sites,” said Falcon, “but as the site grew, we added the free hire loadcell box and other product demonstrations to improve the visitor experience and give the site a more educational feel. The loadcell demonstration rig is by far the most complex addition to the office, it allows our visitors to see the effect on the Wheatstone bridge of a virtual loadcell when they apply a load to the loadcell.”

Virtual worlds have the added benefit of allowing companies to build realistic representations of their products in 3-D and to scale in a space where people can then interact with the products using avatars, or digital representations of themselves. Novatech makes use of this ability by offering free copies of their TR150 portable load meter. Falcon said, “Visitors can hold the hand-held load meter in their virtual hands and view the loadcell from all angles, giving the visitor a feel for the product and its size in a way that is hard to achieve with a traditional Web site.”

Wheatstone bridge exampleVisitors to the site do tend to hang around interacting with the exhibits, and the general feedback has shown the company they are moving in the right direction. “So far we have had a few positive comments from engineering students, and we have met up in-world with some of our customers. Generally we feel that the Second Life office is achieving its objective of promoting Novatech and adding to our general web presence, particularly among engineering students who may well be our future customers.”

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