Dennis Augustine and Nabil Orfali
TechGuilds co-founders Dennis Augustine and Nabil Orfali.

The founders of a Sitecore consultancy have created an app that will allow Sitecore web content management users to deliver virtual-reality experiences.

Nabil Orfali and Dennis Augustine, who co-founded Toronto-based TechGuilds, have debuted Peek VR for the Sitecore Experience Management Platform (Sitecore XP). The Sitecore consultants told CMSWire this brings virtual, augmented and mixed reality scenarios into the Sitecore content management ecosystem without the need for coding and technical skills.

They said it's the first virtual reality platform built on Sitecore XP.

Opening Up a New CX Category

Christopher Nash, senior consultant for Sitecore Business Optimization Strategies, told CMSWire that Sitecore believes the "essential ingredient" of a customer experience management platform is "often the ability for the customer to interact and get value. It could be as simple as sliding a slider on a web page that adapts the content so that it’s more relevant."

The Peek VR solution, he said, "enables a whole new category of customer experience, interactions and customer value. What’s really neat is that traditional cost-saving benefits like content reuse, workflow and language versioning are supported. And at the same time the ability to personalize VR experiences is possible using the Peek solution."

Licensing and the full rollout of the Peek VR platform won't be available until the last quarter of 2017, Orfali and Augustine told CMSWire. But it's already in use in beta.

Peek Sitecore XP editor.
Peek Sitecore XP editor.

APIs, Plumbing Included

The big advantage the TechGuilds founders push is the app's ease of use. Sitecore users don't need to code when adding assets and content as they create virtual and augmented experiences within Sitecore XP. In a demo for CMSWire, officials used drag-and-drop rather than straight code builds.

In addition, users don't have to download a special purpose application.

"We've done all the plumbing," Augustine said. "Behind the scenes, we're accessing underlying API using our web virtual reality technology." 

The VR and AR assets can be stored into the Sitecore Media Library. Some of the larger assets, like video, may require storage in a digital asset management system integrated within Sitecore, Augustine added.

Sitecore users can leverage their WCM content and "transform that into VR and AR," the founders wrote in a release. 

Peek VR
A snapshot of the Peek VR in action during a Sitecore executives meeting.

Taking Personalization to Another Level with VR

Sitecore's Nash pointed out that Sitecore users can personalize VR experiences using the Peek solution. 

A Peek VR visitor can be served personalized content based on, for example, triggering an online campaign or based on their GEO location. 

"As the VR experience progresses, conditional, personalized visual content can be presented based on interactions," Nash added. "For example, if a visitor is viewing a Peek VR tour of a movie theater venue, the contents can be personalized based on interactions such as exploring the candy and popcorn selection, advertisements for coming attractions and VIP seating areas."

Orfali cited the example of a large Canadian hospital's efforts to raise money for a new hospital. Leveraging existing Sitecore content, they've added a virtual experience of what the new hospital would look like.

"This is all about making virtual reality accessible for the enterprise," Augustine said. "WebVR is a technology platform for enabling VR on the consumer level, and we're bringing that to the enterprise."