McDonalds has already hinted its embrace of virtual reality (VR) aiming its efforts at entertaining children with the trial of its Happy Goggles in Sweden along with its own videogame, Slope Stars. It seems that the mass fast food chain is taking a more strategic route after partnering with make[REAL], immersive VR content developers, using Oculus VR technology to create a VR roadshow being revealed today with insight into its much debated production of food.
Follow Our Foodsteps is a campaign which aims to take viewers behind the scenes of the Big Mac makers with four main aspects to it, two of which are VR. The main of the two is a potato harvesting two-player videogame where the players simulate a farmer’s every day job to carefully drive a tractor alongside the harvester to collect the potatoes, all while making sure the quality standards are high by keeping an even load balanced. Sam Watts, Operations Lead from make[REAL], continues to explain: “This is whilst being guided over virtual in-cab CB radio from the other farmer, driving the harvester. This mixes physical real-world components, such as an actual tractor seat and the PC game Farming Simulator steering wheel and pedals, plus the Oculus Rift for the VR immersion and sense of presence within the tractor cab.”
Watts, who also works for Tammeka Games, went on to explain the experience as well as trial and error that had to go into developing the VR campaign in a statement sent to VRFocus: “Through our previous work with Radial-G and the commercial Oculus Rift headset, ensured rock-solid framerates were maintained throughout. Additional challenges included operating the Oculus Rifts on the tractor seat enclosures, designed to be located outside of the campaign truck, whereas the PCs running the experience are located inside the truck.
“This meant that the Oculus Rift headset and sensor had to be extended via 10m active USB and HDMI cables, something we didn’t think could be done initially. Also there’s the factor of using the Oculus Rift outside in the sunshine, and potentially rain, but all our tests have shown that tracking is unaffected, even when direct sunlight is glaring on the headset and / or sensor.”
The second VR experience that can be watched during the campaign, in conjunction with a 360-degree film specialist FutureVisual, is a series of 360-degree videos taking viewers behind the scenes of the supply chains.
Connor McVeigh, McDonald’s UK director of supply chain, said: “By bringing together tech developers with farmers and food experts, we have created an immersive virtual reality experience that will allow people to follow in the footsteps of farmers, suppliers and our crew, bringing the best of UK food production from the countryside to communities across the UK.”
The Follow Our Foodsteps campaign is to be showcased around the UK where it will travel over 2,000 miles over 12 months, starting in Northern Ireland on 11th-13th May, to then visiting scheduled stops including the likes of Royal Bath & West Show, Royal Highland Show, Kent County Show, Royal Welsh Show, Birmingham, and finally London in December.
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