Case Studies

Mastering a Presentation in VR: An Interview with Phil Zinser

Learn how futurist Phil Zinser discovered The Wild to be the perfect tool for giving impressive VR presentations for his smart-consulting company, RaumZeit.
Clay Walsh
May 14, 2020

Phil Zinser, a futurist and visionär out of Germany, doesn’t just work in VR—he lives for it.

Finding the perfect work tool is an obsession for Phil, and after years of searching for a way to meet with and present to customers virtually, he's finally mastered the art of delivering immersive presentations by using The Wild. 

Phil Zinser, RaumZeit

How did you get started with VR? What kind of platforms have you used?

I started working with VR about five years ago. I’d always had this vision of conducting meetings in virtual reality, so I started searching for a business solution that could bring that vision to life. The first platform I tried was Sansar, which is still an awesome app, but it stopped working with the Oculus Quest. The Quest is my headset of choice, so I narrowed my focus to platforms that worked well with it, including Engage VR out of London, which is awesome as well. 

But I chose The Wild because it’s the perfect combination of everything I need: the user interface, the ability to create 3D models and spaces, and the fact that it works really well with the Quest. You can access your spaces in desktop mode, sketch in 3D, teleport people to your location, and use the iPad app to enter augmented reality. It's multi-dimensional, and the user experience is excellent.

So tell me, what's your role? What does RaumZeit do?

RaumZeit makes smart business solutions and smart homes. We’re headquartered In Ravensburg, Germany, which is a small but very futuristic village. My role is to essentially teach companies how to use virtual reality to enhance their businesses. We have a showroom in The Wild that we refer to as our “holodeck,” and we can present to up to 20 people in that space.

RaumZeit's Presentation Space

Mastering the Presentation Workflow

What’s your workflow like? What kind of software are you using to bring 3D models into The Wild?

We work with a lot of architects who use a lot of different systems. Customers come to us with files from ArchiCAD, Revit, and others, and I typically have to sort through and consolidate everything into a usable format. I like SketchUp’s workflow, so I use it as a conversion tool. I’ll upload a customer’s files into SketchUp, review them and make changes, then upload the new SketchUp models into The Wild.

How do you show SketchUp models to your customers?

Our customers see their models in a live presentation in The Wild. Before a meeting, I’ll upload images, videos, and 3D SketchUp models into a space, and then I’ll set it up like a PowerPoint. I’ll put most of the content on the walls, but some of it, I’ll keep hidden in the VR library until the presentation is in progress, so I can pull it out at just the right moment. It’s like having a magic trick up your sleeve.

Meeting with a customer in VR

During a presentation, we’ll bring three to five people into a space. For most of our customers, it’s the first time they’ve worn a headset and been in VR. So when they’re in The Wild, immersed in a space with all these images and videos, I then open up my Library and pull out their 3D models—it’s the best sales process ever.

How do your customers respond?

They all love it. Once, after a presentation, a customer said to me, “I want to do my presentations like this. What’s the platform? How can I do this?”  Our customers want to start using The Wild, too.

Zooming into a RaumZeit Presentation

Tools to Share a Vision

So beyond the wow factor, what’s the value of The Wild to you?

It's time-saving, it's more effective, and it's a dream come true to be able to step inside a presentation—to turn an idea into a vision and to transport people into my vision.

It's time-saving, it's more effective, and it's a dream come true to be able to step inside a presentation—to turn an idea into a vision and to transport people into my vision.
Phil Zinser, RaumZeit

How many people have you had in The Wild at the same time?

The most we’ve had is 12, but there’s room for more. During presentations, one of us will also walk around with an iPad and make a screencast to share.

Amazing! What are your favorite tools to use?

I really like the People tool. Since I do these presentations as a progression, starting with drawings, then getting into richer media, I don't want our customers to see everything at once. So if they start to wander around, I teleport them back to me with the People tool.

I also use the Sketch tool for drawing in 3D, and I use the Mass tool before presentations to create desks and seats for everyone.

Have you ever brought people into another space by using the portal?

I still remember the first time I experienced the portal feature in a demo—it was amazing!  I immediately told my partner that we had to sign up for The Wild. I often use the portal during presentations. I’ll hold on until the last moment, then bring my customers into a new space. This is the platform and user experience for somebody who has a real vision for working in VR.

Using the Portal Feature to move to a new space

How do you see your use of The Wild evolving?

I’d like to get up in the morning, make some coffee, put on some music, put on my Quest, and spend the whole day working in The Wild. With the introduction of a web browser [editor’s note: coming soon!], I’ll be able to do all my work in there: content production, meetings, presentations, and prototyping. It’s the one place where I have everything I need, and the workflow is so seamless that I can really get into a creative groove. I could work in it all day.

A New Generation of Virtual Reality 

Outside of being in The Wild, what’s your favorite thing to do in virtual reality?

I love to discover new experiences and new worlds, and I'm always hunting for the next “wow.” 

For instance, there’s a new game called Half-Life: Alyx. It's the next generation of VR, and it's amazing. I also like flying in Elite Dangerous and exploring outer space. But, the best experience is when I create a space in The Wild in desktop mode, then step inside it in VR and see it come to life. To be immersed in a space for the first time is the coolest thing.

Wow, you are a super fan.

Yeah, it's true! I'm not paid for this. I waited so long. For five years, I searched for my business tool, and now I've found it.


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