Nathan Maclean

Nathan Maclean has been managing director for Virtual Worlds since 1999, both here in the UK and for the New Zealand branch. The company is the UK market leader in innovation-led CAD technology for the KBB market. Breaking boundaries in virtual technology innovation – the company is the first to develop 3D design software for KBB retailers and, most recently, launching its new 4D offer.

Virtual reality: More than just a game

Posted 21st Nov 2017

What’s the first thing that you think of when you picture virtual reality – VR? If you’re like most of the population, the chances are you imagine a youngster playing a video game on their Playstation. However, Nathan Maclean, managing director at Virtual Worlds, suggests we look beyond this stereotype, and realise the true potential of VR within our industry.

Despite the stereotypes, the uptake on VR headsets for gaming has been relatively slow in the UK market. There are several reasons for this, such as a lack of attractive game releases, which makes gamers struggle to justify the large investment.

The slow uptake in the gaming market, however, is not a reflection on the progress of VR in other, more practical, markets. In a variety of fields such as healthcare, filming, design and construction, VR is beginning to make a real difference and is changing the way people work for the better.

In the healthcare industry, there have been several high-profile cases showing how VR can significantly aid individuals recovering from a variety of health conditions, while in filmmaking stories can now be more experiential, captivating and immersive in a way that has never been experienced before.

And for the KBB industry there are many more benefits, too. As the saying goes, ‘seeing is believing’ and this technology allows retailers to remove the element of imagination and show customers exactly what the end product will look like. This not only increases your chance of making a sale, but can help to maximise the order value, too.

VR also gives customers the opportunity to interact with the objects around them. They can, for instance, engage with items such as cupboards and drawers to get a feel for how they work. Rather than simply looking at the layout on a flatplan or 3D render, they can go inside the design to see how it would actually feel to enter their new kitchen or bathroom.

It works in much the same way as test driving a new car – giving customers the opportunity to see what they like and what they don’t, before committing to a final purchase. The key benefit of this is that they can ensure they will be happy with the final product, reducing the risk of buyers’ remorse.

At Virtual Worlds, we aim to give customers an incredibly detailed and high-quality experience with our VR 4D technology. Virtual Worlds’ new, flagship 4D Theatre allows them to literally step inside and walk around their dream kitchen or bathroom. All the customers’ movements are relayed on screen by the headset, with everything from crouching to pointing replicated in the virtual world.

We also incorporate catalogues from some of the leading names in kitchens and bathroom including brands such as Villeroy & Boch and Ideal Standard. Our vast catalogue collection allows the designers to create incredibly detailed and lifelike spaces and gives an accurate representation of what your customer can expect to receive from their final kitchen or bathroom.

VR is not just for gaming; it is currently having a massive impact across an array of industries, helping to increase revenue, save time and revolutionise fields. The technology is particularly thriving in the KBB industry, and we expect to see it continue to grow in prominence over the coming years.

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