Virtual reality can power Springfield, Clark County’s development, says an expert

Feb. 22 (Reuters) – Springfield and Clark County are poised to join the many other business developers and employers using virtual reality tools to host meetings, tours and more in the Metaverse, according to a technology expert.

The Metaverse is simply a virtual world for people to interact in, said Aaron Brossoit, the CEO of Golden Shovel Agency.

Brossoit will be the keynote speaker at Thursday’s Greater Springfield Partnership annual meeting at the Hollenbeck Bayley Conference and Arts Center in Springfield, where he will speak about the metaverse and how technology can connect people from around the world in ways it used to was not possible.

His Minnesota-based company is credited with pioneering the use of virtual reality tools for economic development.

Virtual Reality (VR) has grown since Golden Shovel launched in 2009. The company’s first forays into virtuality tools began in 2017 with the use of Google Cardboard, which allowed users to slip a smartphone into cardboard glasses to use virtual reality apps. said Brossoit.

Years later, companies began developing VR headset technology, which Golden Shovel uses to help business development agencies and corporations around the world connect with location consultants and tap into workforces.

Agency clients have used VR to connect with businesses that have land for sale in their area by taking them on virtual tours of their communities. These tours allow potential buyers to tour the property, learn more about the surrounding community, and see 3-D models of buildings for their site.

“This is the perfect way for business developers to showcase their locations because it feels like standing there,” Brossoit said.

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VR use has flourished among supporters of rural and midsize communities like Springfield, Brossoit said.

“They’re the ones who have a harder time getting people to come there to visit it or see it,” he said. “They don’t have the big brand names, especially internationally like San Francisco or New York. So they saw that they saw an opportunity for VR technology.”

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Brossoit’s agency has worked with Greater Springfield Partnership on several marketing projects, and other organizations in Ohio — including those in Montgomery County and Piqua — have used virtual reality tools with the company in recent years.

VR helps developers reduce transportation-related expenses. The technology also increases a person’s ability to absorb and retain information about what they see through the screen, Brossoit said.

“It does this little trick of the brain that kind of tricks it into thinking that somewhere else,” Brossoit said. “Biological receptors in the brain behave the same way when you travel to a new place you’ve never been. You’re alert.”

Employers looking to gain a competitive edge in the workforce war have also used VR to give prospective employees digital tours of their facilities and more, Brossoit said.

Golden Shovel has also developed an app to create VR office spaces. The pandemic caused many companies and agencies to switch to the work-from-home model, and Brossoit’s clients asked for help to reconnect with their managers and employees in virtual spaces.

“At its core, it’s really about bringing people together,” Brossoit said.