223 – Bryan Colin of VirtualApt – A Tour Guide Named Robot

VirtualApt

360 degree video tours using VR and AR technology that films and processes web-based virtual reality in real time, via autonomous mobile supercomputers…

VirtualApt360 degree video tours is a service that is important for consumer convenience, allowing consumers to browse actively for all products but for the biggest purchase of their lives they typically make, but in the past they haven’t had the same digital access availble. To let them get the guided tour of spaces it can save time and money for all involved, plus offer convenience for the consumer.

Bryan Colin, CEO of VirtualApt (360 degree video tours via autonomous robots) joins Marc Raco and Rob Sanchez on location at Valtech’s Innovation Lab during NRF 2018 in New York. Valtech is a global digital agency focused on business transformation. MouthMedia Network is Powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:VirtualApt

  • Colin discusses this service as nice to have vs. need to have
  • How some companies need to connect digital with in-store, spend more time on site, add traffic, sometimes pictures don’t do a product or environment justice
  • VirtualApt’s primary business is guided tour for real estate
  • The value prop comes from the fact that great sales result from when you have people in the physical store, but not as much when they can’t come in
  • Showing real items in a real store and then people choose what they want to see or hear about, whatever the brand is excited to share
  • Re-creating the best showroom experience as an online experience in the language, device, and time of choice
  • How VirtualApt invented a way to walk through the store without blurring or parallax or instability that makes people nauseous
  • How the full production team is built in the robot, and the ability to be able to control the experience externally
  • Keeping the robot at a constant pace, making sure it is the how client wants the experience to be perceives and consumed
  • How the robot navigates indoors vs. outdoors, flat vs. levels
  • Luxury retailers as a primary target client
  • Depth ability, zooming in an out, filming above 4K, downgrading to max device can handle (i.e. HD on iPhone)
  • Autonomous robots are similar in programming to self driving cars, after mapping out space to great detail and the exact path you want the robot to go
  • The imagining of the ability to virtually walk into stores as an extension of Google Street View, and other possible partnerships
  • How this tells people about other items they might not have been interested in or seeking
  • The impact of how a business can expand internationally using VirtualApt, clickable purchases through video
  • The ability to visit places multiple times a year without having to go there and promote the stores within (i.e. Disneyland)
  • Creating challenges within the experience– anyone who found a link “Easter Egg” hunt, gamifying
  • How real estate virtual tours don’t interfere with listing brokers, actually saving time and amplifying the number of people looking
  • Obvious applications in in travel and hospitality
  • The wow of baseball, and being singularly focused
  • Gamification in schools
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