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Local Company Looking To Soar With Virtual Reality Technology

By Vince Winkel, posted Dec 20, 2016
SISDigital's first SkyNav project was for St. James Plantation in Southport. (Photo courtesy of SISDigital)
A Wilmington company has unveiled a new tool that it bills as web-based immersive virtual reality.
 
SISDigital, which is headquartered at tekMountain on Sir Tyler Drive, developed and created the technology here in Wilmington.
 
It’s called SkyNav and allows for virtual reality experiences without the need of an app.
 
“The sky is the limit when it comes to what kind of businesses can utilize SkyNav tours,” said Morgan Jones, director of business development for SISDigital. “We're seeing interest from professional sports facilities, resorts, communities, shopping centers, commercial facilities, amusement parks, cities and towns, educational facilities, aerial mapping and real estate spots.”
 
Users can immerse themselves from their desktop computer, mobile device or tablet. The VR experience can be accessed through most android and iOS mobile devices via the web and viewed currently on Samsung GearVR, Google Cardboard, as well as mobile devices and tablets, and numerous VR headsets on the market with no app installation needed, according to a news release.
 
The company’s first SkyNav application is a tour of St. James Plantation in Brunswick County, an exclusive golf and retirement community. It allows the user to fly over the community or walk down its streets and sidewalks.
 
“SISDigital has come up with the solution for the major thirst regarding web VR content, and has finally gotten our first working module completed for St. James Plantation,” said CEO Ty Downing in a news release. “It’s the next best thing to actually driving to St. James and taking the tour of the community yourself, which even then, you’re having to worry about travel there and being on someone else’s time.”
 
The St. James Plantation SkyNav tour can be viewed here.
 
“There is no cost to access and interact with a SkyNav tour on the consumer side of things,” Jones said, “but pricing for businesses that are interested in creating a tour for themselves start at $2,500 and go up from there based off of how many sky panoramas, ground panoramas, and info or 'i' beacons they want to include in their tour.”
 
SISDigital uses a drone for its aerial footage.
 
“The idea of SkyNav was born from the marriage of the current web VR craze, the lack of products that assist in promoting location based communities, products or services, as well as the industry’s inability to figure out how to make VR profitable for businesses,” Downing explained.
 
The SISDigital CEO believes this technology is a “next-generation tool” for website development and a game changer for industries that utilize proximity, location, physical tours and other visual elements for their current marketing efforts.
 
Up next for the company is a SkyNav tour for the Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau.
 
SISDigital is a full-service digital advertising agency that creates marketing, advertising, branding and digital strategies, and also runs social business training programs, courses and e-Learning programs for medium and enterprise organizations. The privately held company currently employs nine people.

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