Stepping in to Neutral Digital’s Shoreditch studio in London, there is something daunting about being greeted by an isolated sole chair surrounded by some simple technology and a giant screen. But the warmth of the greeting from Sergio Irigoyen and Dan Bambridge alleviate any concerns. After all, I’m about to experience one of the most state-of-the-art VR experiences on the market for the first time.
Neutral Digital is an end-to-end immersive technology content creator and digital production house. Working for multiple clients – including an increasing portfolio of airline clients – the company brings together VR, AR and 360-degree video technology to create innovate, awe-inspiring projects.
While a relatively new product set within the aviation market, the applications for this technology are limitless. The company is focusing its efforts in creating marketing, design and training experiences, with an impressive client list for existing marketing projects including Air Canada’s 787, 737 Max and 767 products.
Neutral Digital has over 5 years experience in VR and AR, but actually entered the aviation sector creating digital content such as GUI designs, IFE apps and games. But sitting in the chair and donning the headset and hand controls and putting myself in to a pitch black void, I couldn’t help but show a child-like sense of excitement for what was about to happen.
A new world opened up in front of me, one of endless possibilities. My digital hands, became intuitively alive in front of me, responding to my human input, and then my world came to life, with a whole new universe. My first experience was that of Air Canada, a product that’s been on the market for a year now, helping the airline promote their product on worldwide road shows for a fraction of the cost of shipping their hard product from city to city.
And the end result is far more impressive. Within an instant I’m sat in their 787 business class seat. Even the gentle hum of the cabin fills my ears, and its like the best flight ever, as I seem to be the only occupant. As I start to get used to my surroundings, I find myself picking up headphones, opening tray tables and even find myself selecting a starter from the menu.
It’s not long before I want to start testing the capabilities of the software. In a child-like fit, I start throwing bread rolls at my imaginary flying companions. This is far more than an interactive 3D model. “Our products are all about storytelling, that’s where we excel,” says Sergio. That’s the whole point, airlines are more than just a seat. It’s about the brand experience, which can only be translated through music, sound and a story arc.
It’s clear to see that Neutral Digital have the perfect recipe, with impressive tech, but creative at heart, its no wonder that airlines are already coming to them to help their marketing teams, but that’s just the start. The same technology could be used to model and experience new interiors, or train both cabin crew and flight crew with cabin familiarisation. It seems that Neutral Digital could be an affordable solution for multiple departments within the airline industry that all benefit the same goal. The passenger.