Rio Tinto showcases ‘Oculus Rift’

Rio Tinto Diamonds brought "the mine to the marketplace" with virtual technology at the JCK Luxury Show in Las Vegas this week.

Rio Tinto Diamonds brought “the mine to the marketplace” with virtual technology at the JCK Luxury Show in Las Vegas this week.

The company debuted its “innovative Oculus Rift technology” at the Show to provide visitors with “an interactive virtual journey into its Diavik Diamond Mine in the remote Northwest Territories of Canada”.

According to the Rio Tinto, the company’s Oculus Rift virtual reality headset  (custom-designed in partnership with New-York based Bravo Media) creates “a completely immersive, computer generated environment that allows the user to fly above the coast of Canada and land at the Diavik Diamond Mine” and then “an interactive journey down the mine”.

Brandee Dallow, manager of Rio Tinto Diamonds North American representative office, said, the interactive technology brings the mining experience to life in a very compelling way.

“Our goal in showcasing Oculus Rift at this year’s JCK Show is to start the dialogue with our customers and other members of the diamond jewellery industry about the new approaches available to better capture the next generation consumer,” she said.

“It is important for the diamond industry, from the trade through to the final consumer, to gain an understanding of where Rio Tinto’s diamonds come from and how they are mined.

The mine-to-market story is very important to us and so we are delighted to present this new tool to the industry.”

She added that Rio Tinto Diamonds has a long track record of harnessing technology and innovation to create value in the diamond industry including X-ray sorting machines and laser technology to prepare diamonds for cutting and polishing.

The Oculus Rift technology was on display at Rio Tinto’s stand at JCK Luxury Show from May 29 to June 2.

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