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BlackBox Simulations Helps Kitchen Manufacturer Franke Go Virtual

On February 7th, Franke Foodservice Solutions exhibited at the annual North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) trade show in Orlando, FL. They usually arrive at the trade show with a trailer full of modern, weighty commercial kitchen equipment. This year, however, they shocked NAFEM when they arrived virtually empty-handed.

Instead, Franke’s trade show booth housed four virtual reality systems provided by VR partner BlackBox Simulations. The Nashville based company worked closely with Franke to create a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors, combining virtual reality, augmented reality, and a mobile VR ride.

Booth design presented a daunting technological hurdle. Roomscale VR relies on infrared sensors to track user position, and multiple units operating simultaneously creates conflicting signals. BlackBox was able to create an elegant design which permitted four units to operate simultaneously and independently. The open design drew in NAFEM attendees by allowing the experiences to be viewed from the tradeshow floor.

The multi-user VR layout wasn’t the only innovation on display. Once inside Franke’s VR Kitchen users were greeted with a familiar face, virtual presenter “Que” modeled after Franke’s trade-show presenter, Callie Que Smith. The virtual tradeshow presenter was a key element in making the experience simple and enjoyable.

Over the course of the three day event an estimated 1500 people experienced four different virtual kitchens new to Franke’s commercial line. Response from trade show attendees was overwhelmingly positive. Many were experiencing VR and AR technologies for the first time.

BlackBox Simulations is a Nashville based innovative solutions company and a division of PK Pictures, a veteran production and live event company. BlackBox specializes in the use of roomscale VR, mobile VR, augmented reality, and interactive technology to create memorable experiences for brands all over the world. For more information visit http://www.blackboxsimulations.com/.

Franke Foodservice Solutions is a part of Franke Foodservice Systems, a leading provider of comprehensive systems and services for the global foodservice industry. Franke Foodservice systems employs more than 1,000 associates worldwide, and manufactures and distributes a wide variety of equipment and supplies from a number of facilities in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Its sister divisions within the Franke Group produce diverse items such as automated commercial coffee machines, beverage kegs and washroom fixtures. Franke is also a global leader in consumer kitchen fixtures such as sinks, faucets and hoods, and is the world’s largest producer of stainless steel sinks. For more information, visit http://frankeamericas.com/.

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