A partnership between Nielsen and the University of Florida led to development of a grocery store in a simulated 3D environment.
The project allows a Nielsen client using virtual reality headsets such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vibe to set up virtual grocery store layouts and to gauge a customer’s engagement and path through the virtual store and its products.
It could lead to significant cost-savings and revenue potential for Nielsen, a market research and data analytics firm with a major office in Oldsmar, and it is the winner for the “Industry/Academic Partnership of the Year,” one of several honors in Tampa Bay Tech’s 2018 awards program.
Tampa Bay Tech, Florida’s largest technology council, will name all the winners at a Nov. 9 ceremony.
In the Nielsen-UF partnership, a student team made up of five undergraduates — a mix of electrical, computer and industrial engineers — got a chance to solve a real-world problem over the course of two semesters in the 2017-2018 academic year. A faculty coach worked with the students and Nielsen provided two mentors — one who attended their meetings and presentations, and one who gave input and feedback on their design and implementation.
The results were phenomenal, according to a statement from Nielsen.
“They delivered a customizable system with configurable user interface, meaningful data analysis dashboards, and a realistic virtual user experience,” the statement said. “This type of product offered significant cost-savings and revenue potential to Nielsen, since studies run in a virtual environment are faster, more scalable, and provide highly granular data.”
Nielsen said it plans to continue this partnership with a new business problem for the current academic year.