How Zimmer Biomet Dental Used InstaVR to Create an Immersive Oculus Rift Experience for their Industry’s Largest Convention, Despite a Tight Deadline
Zimmer Biomet Dental – Company Overview
Zimmer Biomet Holdings is a Fortune 500 company based in Warsaw, Indiana that employs over 18,000 people worldwide. Zimmer Biomet Dental, born of the merger between Zimmer Dental and Biomet 3i, is one of the largest dental implant companies in the United States. In addition to dental technology, the Florida-based division also leads over 1,200 professional medical education courses each year, and operates training institutes worldwide.
Tim Doherty is a Digital Manager at Zimmer Biomet Dental. His background includes being a 3D Animator at Southern California media companies including Disney, PBS, and NBC. At Zimmer Biomet, his responsibilities span all of digital media creation, including video, animation, and VR.
Zimmer Biomet Dental Becomes an Early User of Oculus Rift
With over 25 years of experience in 3D Animation, Tim Doherty knows the value of using the right technology. In his role as Digital Manager at Zimmer Biomet Dental, a division of the Fortune 500 medical device company, his team is dependent on him to equip them with the latest and greatest solutions. So it’s no surprise that when Oculus Rift first introduced its groundbreaking VR headset, Doherty secured two of them for his company upon commercial release.
First App Created for American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) Conference
The annual meeting of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) is the largest gathering of dental implant professionals in the US. Doherty recognized this as a great opportunity to use VR to show off Zimmer Biomet Dental’s education institutes, including their proprietary simulation labs. So he traveled to the flagship institute in Parsippany, New Jersey in 2016 equipped with a camera.
Meticulously stitching together images taken with a standard digital camera, Doherty was able to impressively replicate the simulation lab rooms in 360. The immersive tours, published to the Oculus Rift, were very well received by convention goers that year. VR tours of Zimmer Biomet Dental’s education institute were a hit!
Doherty Upgrades to a 360 Camera and Focuses VR Experience on Patented Procedure For 2017 AAP Meeting
For the 2017 AAP Convention in September, Doherty made two major changes to the VR experience featured at their booth:
- He switched the focus to 360 video, using a newly procured Vuze 3D 360 camera.
He wanted to highlight one of his company’s patented procedures, that simplifies and shortens the number of steps for a dental team to prepare a patient’s dental crown for placement on a dental implant.
For the latter, he filmed three specific scenarios: First the traditional way to do it. And then two new, faster, simpler ways to do it using Zimmer Biomet Dental technology. So he was off to the simulation lab again to capture these three videos using his Vuze 360 camera.
He showed his colleagues the footage, and they were impressed. But with only a few days to go until the Convention deadline, he needed to quickly put together a compelling VR app for the Oculus Rift headset.
InstaVR Enables Doherty to Meet a Tight Deadline for Generating a Compelling Oculus Rift Experience; “I wouldn’t have been able to get it done without InstaVR”
“From the time I had the video cut for them (his colleagues) in final form before putting the VR together,” according to Doherty, “I think we probably had four or five days until the trade show. It was really really tight.”
Given the tight deadline, going with InstaVR was a no-brainer for Doherty. The easy-to-use, web-based InstaVR platform allowed Doherty to author, publish, and iterate quickly. As this would be viewed on Oculus Rift, he used a 360 image as a main menu, with navigation links to the 3 procedures in 360 video for booth visitors to choose from and watch. “I think InstaVR is great because it simplifies everything I have to do. It allowed me to package it all together, add interactivity,” said Doherty.
Importantly, he was able to view and improve the app while authoring. “I uploaded all of the footage into InstaVR. And then made a couple tests, so the icons would look correct in VR. What was great was that I was able to upload the material, make tweaks, and then publish right away, with a file that I could then download and put on my Oculus Rift to view right away.”
Ultimately, despite less than 5 days to go from raw footage to completed Oculus Rift app, Doherty was able to succeed with a very well-received VR app at AAP that had people lining up to view Zimmer Biomet Dental’s patented procedure. “It was all very simple and easy to do. I wouldn’t have been able to get it done without InstaVR. I wouldn’t have been able to make the deadline for that trade show.”
Doherty Already Planning His Next VR App
With AAP now in the past, Doherty is already thinking ahead on how to utilize InstaVR to generate more Oculus Rift apps. In this year’s 360 videos they used mannequins at the simulation labs. Next year, with more time, they plan to re-shoot in the labs using real patients.
“Hopefully I’ll have a little more time. But whether I do or not, I plan to use InstaVR again to assemble that package. It simplifies everything so much. I can focus on creating the material, rather than publishing the material.”