DP World is a world-wide logistics service company with 77 marine and inland terminals spread across 40 counties and six continents. Their new terminal London Gateway is the UK’s most integrated logistics hub and situated just 30km from London, the largest consumer market in Europe.
We met DP World at a conference in which we were presenting some of amazing music VR experiences. Although DP World had explored using VR previously and had talked to other suppliers, they were blown away by our creativity and invited us to present a concept to them – which they loved.
The VR experience we were creating need to serve for a variety of functions – as a sales tool, an attraction and as an educational experience. Therefore it needed to be informational yet entertainment, needed to convey a sense of scale but also allow the user to drill into details.
We imagined London Gateway as a living tabletop model. Who working in the logistics industry hadn’t owned a model train set as a child? We wanted to create the ultimate model city but one which is alive – conveying the buzz of activity on the site. Cranes pick up containers, ships come into port and lorries scurry around the site.
In our VR experience users get a narrated guided tour of the state-of-the-art facilities, learning about the services offered and able to experience 360 views from the site. Users can even fly to space to see how the port integrates with the world’s major shipping routes and other DP World facilities around the world.
The experience can be enjoyed as a guided tour or the user can take control and explore the park freely. See more below:
Although London Gateway port is already operational the majority of the logistics park is not complete yet, therefore we built the environment from the 2D master plans using the existing constructions as a guide. We visited the site to take photo references to make sure we were as faithful as possible. Once we built the model we brought into Unity and started to add dynamic lighting, animations, informational hotspots and navigation options.
We created the project in three phases, starting with a proof of concept focussing on the port area. We integrated existing panoramas and videos and allowed the user to move around the site selecting points of interest using hand gestures.
With a major international exhibition a couple of months away – we then focussed on creating a guided tour that could be featured at DP World’s stand and be easier to operate. We also added more content in the park and a space view to see how London Gateway connected to the worlds shipping routes.
The final stage involved adding an animated virtual guide to provide greater engagement for which we built our own motion capture system, finessing and adding detail to the park and integrating information from the other DP World European terminals to complete the story.
The experience debut at Transport Logistic expo in Munich to much acclaim! We provided DP World two sets of portable VR hardware so that the experience can be deployed at other events and locations as required.