SBL Virtual Reality Team: What Did We Do During the Summer?

SBL Virtual Reality Team: What Did We Do During the Summer?


During the summer, we have had a team of employees working actively on a virtual reality project for showcasing products in virtual worlds. The idea is that brands could use VR to let customers interact and play with their products to get to know them, and finally, make a purchase. We believe that the new digital era is going to be strongly guided by VR, and that well-crafted virtual experiences can lead to an increase in sales in any field of business.

The team has been led by SBL’s researcher Jesse Karjalainen, who has held an interest in branded spaces and virtual showrooms for some time now. The team’s core programming has been done by Heikki Heiskanen with the help of Niklas Nisén, who has also been in charge of user experience. Tony Hämmäinen has done some modelling and lighting while Emil Lindfors has created the graphics. Riko Nyberg has worked as a general facilitator and done some work in building physical stands and marketing the project. Riko also worked together with Joanna Mehtälä to build the project’s website – check it out over here!

All in all, during the summer, we have managed to create two different virtual environments – one for Leap Motion, and one for HTC Vive.

Leap Motion is a sensor device that allows its user’s hands to be moved into the digital world. The set-up we had consisted of the sensor and a large TV screen, so that the user could move his/her hands in front of the screen and see the hands moving also in the digital world shown on the screen. We had a blast developing a world where the user could play games simply by moving his/her digital hands, and fiddle with various objects or products added into the world. Such an environment would work for any brand as an attention catcher: if a company were to set up this kind of a stand in front of its store, people could easily interact with the brand’s products in the virtual world.

The full-blown virtual reality environment that we developed functioned on HTC Vive. HTC Vive consists of VR glasses and a pair of hand controls. When you pull on the glasses, you are instantly transported into a virtual world: take a step and you move inside the world, look around you and you’ll see what the places around you look like. The hand controls add a new dimension into the experience, since you can use them to grab and move things. Our mission with Vive was to create an impressive world for showcasing a brand’s products.

The key idea with both of these environments is that when they’re customized to fit a company’s brand and products, the customer can hop into a different world and experience the brand in a new and fun way. It’s exciting to be immersed in a virtual world, and using VR will without a doubt prove an important asset in marketing in the following years.

If you’re interested in working with us to create a virtual reality environment for your customers, contact us via our contact form!