The Simboat VR app offers the company's customers the summer experience at the helm of a boat.

XR Marine Oy is Finland’s most versatile producer of immersive content related to water navigation.
The company’s mission is to make people’s lives fun and to provide opportunities for leisure activities with fast motorboats and waterjets.

Virtual reality (VR) and marketing

The company’s innovative attitude also extends to marketing. A good example of this is the Simboat VR app, which allows customers to experience a virtual test drive of a new boat model even before the ice melts. It is a realistic experience that conveys the feeling of boating.

XR Marine Oy’s marketing and sales benefits from the VR application, as boating is seasonal and the latest boat models need to be showcased all year round. Virtual reality offers customers the opportunity to explore the latest boat models and get the summer experience behind the wheel. It allows the company to present its new products to its customers in a more tangible way, instead of just with drawings and brochures.

Sensory experiences in a VR environment

MeKiwi produced a VR application based on XR Marine Oy’s idea to simulate a boating experience. The app was designed for the company’s customers, who are boating enthusiasts or professional sailors aged between 30 and 60. The VR app offers customers the summer experience behind the wheel of a boat.

The immersive experience of the boat, the water, and the soundscape is achieved in a VR environment using Oculus Quest2 glasses and VR controllers. In the VR application, the user controls the boat by gripping the virtual steering wheel and throttle. From the virtual control panel, the user can see the speed of the boat, the compass and a notepad of beacon markers, among other things.

The virtual lake landscape gives the user a sense of motion and direction. To leave a positive memory of the experience, careful attention was paid to the stability and visual experience of the virtual environment.

Implementing the VR experience

The Simboat VR app is a showcase for the game developers’ skills in how to use the gaming world in business to market new products. The Simboat VR app achieves the immersiveness of the gaming world. The user is absorbed into the VR experience. Their expectations of the boat’s behaviour are met because the boat’s controls work according to real-world principles.

The VR experience is realised by modelling the real environment. The boat, the water and the sounds react to the user’s actions on the boat’s controls. Realistic physical and graphical features make the experience interactive and realistic.

The VR experience was implemented with maximum emphasis on the behaviour of the boat and the realism of the experience. To avoid making the VR experience uncomfortable, the developers worked hard, as it is likely that customers are experiencing virtual reality for the first time.

Matti Räihä

XR Marine Oy

“The biggest benefit of the VR boating simulation has been that we have not had to go empty-handed into meetings, but rather have had a working example of what we could achieve.

The cooperation with MeKiwi went very smoothly. We were impressed by the customer service and customer spirit. The staff were very helpful and friendly. If there were any questions, they were answered quickly. There was no problem that they could not solve during the project. MeKiwi does what is agreed and does it well, and they were on time. You can’t ask for better than that from a subcontractor. I can highly recommend working with MeKiwi.