Virtual Latrines Video Update #1


Virtual Latrines Video Update #1
Video credit: BoP Innovation Center

Join Gerwin and Marcus as they look back on the first week spent in the field for the Virtual Latrines project.

With the Virtual Latrines project we’re looking to explore the potential for VR to help door-to-door sales agents offer visualisations for the products they sell. Companies in the west have previously experimented with similar ideas, most notably, retail superpowers including Lowe’s and IKEA. Our project is inherently different as it targets an entirely different consumer group and the hardware itself must conform to fit our needs for price and portability.

We recently travelled to Maputo to oversee the initial steps in kicking off this project. Throughout the week we met with the latrine sales agents of Naiss and their consumers, observing their current sales procedures and getting their thoughts and ideas on integrating VR into their routine. We also deployed successful guerilla-style field tests that proved how little apprehension there actually was surrounding the use of VR. People of all ages didn’t hesitate to grab ahold of the headsets and almost immediately understood how to use them. To get a glimpse of what it was like on the ground, check out our first video update about the project below. We’ll be releasing more of these as the project progresses.

We’re currently working with FX Studio, a production studio in Maputo, to develop our first round of prototypes for the sales agents to test in the field. One of these prototypes is intended to replicate the function of a demo room, so instead of having to bring customers to a preassembled bathroom, they can step inside a virtual one by just looking through the headset.
We’re also looking into producing a new 360-degree video piece for raising awareness using a testimonial from customers. The plan is to have our next visit to Mozambique coincide with the first field tests of these prototypes, so keep your eyes peeled for the next update!