AVIVA VR Sailing
VR Sailing promotion

Aviva Virtual Sailing Challenge

A Virtual Reality Sailing Experience on  board AVIVA’s new 60ft Racing Yacht.

The Aviva Sailing Experience was developed in two phases the first being a virtual tour and walk around  on board to get to experience first hand what it’s like to live in such confined accommodation during a round the world yacht race. The second phase was released to let people experience what it’s like to sail on a 60ft racing yacht and included interactive on board tasks to complete as part of the experience.

Phase One – The Virtual Tour: 
The first initial phase of the software was unveiled at the ‘Calais Round Britain Race’ and it was the first time the public had been able to take a virtual tour of Aviva’s new 60ft racing yacht.

Users put on a VR headset and get transported into a virtual world where they start standing on a jetty facing the open 60 class yacht ‘Aviva’. Using  simple gamepad device users are free to wander around the jetty, and over to the yacht with options to select ‘keel view’ to take a look at the swing keep under the water, or climb aboard and explore the deck, including a mast view. Users are also able to gain entry into the cockpit area where they can wander around and see the navigation centre and limited accommodation.

Phase Two – Virtual Sailing: 
The second phase of the software was launched at the TJV (Transat Jacques Vabre) in Le Harve, France. This version of the software is an interactive experience and challenges each user to perform certain tasks whilst on board. Each task is time based, and users are continuously evaluated and scores are awarded when each task has been completed.

Using simple gestures like point ‘to move’ or ‘interact with a button’ users would complete each task in turn before proceeding to the next. Tasks included turning off alarms, winching in sails and steering the yacht back on course. Users scores were entered into a leaderboard and prizes were awarded to the top 5 high scorers. 

The Aviva system incorporated multiple VR peripherals including both HMD (head mounted display) and virtual gloves. The VR headset used is the low-cost i-glasses unit, and due to the expected high volume of users was protected with a custom branded casing.

The VR gloves incorporated 5-DT data glove technology, however the 5-DT product itself was not designed for heavy usage, so we redesigned the gloves to be more robust. As part of this redesign we engineered the finger sensors to incorporate IGUS ‘easy-chain’ casings to eliminate erratic data due to twist from the original product, this was successful and delivered much more reliable data. Maelstrom received a special mention in the IGUS Vector Awards for innovate use of their easy chain product.