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Showcasing aircraft in AR for a premium sales experience
Jan 19, 2022
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Showcasing the intricacies and unique selling points of aircraft can be challenging for sales teams when they need to rely on traditional methods. Unity invited creative agency Sector 5 Digital (S5D) to tell us more about its work with Bell Flight to build an innovative augmented reality (AR) application made with Unity.

With aircraft designed to meet the strict standards of the United States Marine Corps, Team Viper / Venom (TVV) offers innovative tech solutions for defense. By partnering with trusted brands, TVV is equipped with centuries of combined experience across aerospace and technology to provide full attack and utility aircraft with 85% of major parts and components in common, lowering logistics costs while equipping teams with the most advanced engineering in the industry.

One of the principal partners of Team Viper / Venom is Bell Flight, an aerospace and aviation company that strives to reimagine the experience of flight. Bell wanted to showcase its TVV aircraft to potential customers, but transporting aircraft to a client’s location or live event can cost millions of dollars and lead to logistical issues, particularly when meeting schedules are tight.

Faced with these financial and logistical challenges, Bell approached Sector 5 Digital (S5D) to create a business development application that would innovatively portray the AH-1Z Viper and the UH-1Y Venom aircrafts in multiple combat scenarios, while also emphasizing the unique selling points (USPs) of each vehicle and showcasing the technology of TVV partners.

Developing a solution: A look into the TVV app

S5D created an AR application for tablets that brought scalable, miniature models into the user’s physical world with clickable hotspots on the helicopters that highlighted the partners’ contributions to the aircraft. The app prompts users to choose their aircraft experience.

Once users select the aircraft they would like to explore, they can view it overlaid on the real world and learn about the features and functionality of TVV partner technology. They can also compare the selected Viper aircraft to its Venom counterpart (or vice versa) to see the differences and commonalities between them.

The application also includes a “Raid/Escort” scenario that shows the Viper/Venom aircraft in a rugged mission environment to accurately portray how it would operate in a real-world scenario.

The app was developed using Unity and runs on the Apple iPad Pro. Unity provided S5D with an extremely versatile platform to quickly prototype innovative ways to display these aircraft in 3D. This included custom functionality, 3D assets, 3D displays, virtual reality (VR), and other visualization

Results and next steps

The TVV AR application allowed Bell to successfully communicate the USPs of TVV's partner technology to its key customers, while featuring the aircrafts' 85% commonality and demonstrating a realistic combat scenario. The ability to showcase the entire experience from a simple iPad ultimately saved Bell and the TVV partners a significant amount from a logistical standpoint.

The original phase of the TVV AR application was such a success with both internal and external stakeholders that subsequent phases of the project were commissioned to add more scenarios and updates to the application showcasing the Viper/Venom platform’s versatility. Unity has helped make the process of adding new content and functionality as seamless as possible for S5D.

S5D will continue to work with Unity to develop and add exciting new features to the Team Viper / Venom AR experience.

About the author

Sector 5 Digital (S5D) is an award-winning creative agency that combines brilliant storytelling with emerging technology for industry-leading organizations. S5D helps companies transform their brands by creating innovative digital content for marketing, communications, sales, entertainment, training, and simulation. S5D operates under the “build once, deploy often” philosophy, leveraging 25+ years of industry experience to exceed customers’ objectives and maximize their ROI.

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