McDonalds is Using VR to Teach People About its Food Production (and Tractor Driving)

by Jamie Feltham • May 6th, 2016

You might struggle to think of how a major fast food brand could utilise VR tech, but there’s no shortage of ideas over at McDonalds.

The UK arm of the restaurant giant has today revealed ‘Follow Our Foodsteps’, a unique marketing campaign that uses HMDs like Gear VR and the Oculus Rift to help teach consumers about its work with farmers to produce its menu. The campaign consists of a seven month tour of the UK, setting up sights where people will be able to come and try VR experiences and learn more about the McDonalds production line.

The VR side of the campaign was put together with the help of UK-based make[REAL], which produced, among other things, a two-player tractor driving minigame named Top of the Crop. This has players using the Oculus Rift and a steering wheel to drive around fields, harvesting potatoes, trying to maintain an even load. As they drive, players are guided over a radio. Intriguingly, make[REAL] told us that it was able to extend both the Rift and tracking sensor’s reach via 10m active USB and HDMI cables, to move them both outside of the truck.

Featured on Gear VR, meanwhile, are 360 degree videos made in partnership with FutureVisual that follow an organic dairy farm and free-ranger egg producer. There’s also an immersive cinema experience to view inside the tour truck.

As make[REAL]’s Sam Watts tell us, McDonalds UK approached the company with the project. The team then set about creating the VR content with the help of “progressive young farmers” that was also tested by real-world farmers to check for authenticity.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen McDonalds work in VR; earlier this year the company revealed a new take on its Happy Meal box that doubled as a set of VR goggles much like the Google Cardboard concept. It even had VR videogames like a skiing experience to play on it.

Those wanting to visit the tour can look out for it at the following locations:

Balmoral Show, Northern Ireland, May 11th – 13th

Royal Bath & West Show, June 1st – 4th

Royal Highland Show, June 23rd – 26th

Kent County Show, July 8th – 10th

Royal Welsh Show, July 18th – 21st

World Skills Show, Birmingham, November 17th – 19th

London Skills Show, December 9th – 10th

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