Rio Tinto Diamonds is all set to release a unique way to
take a tour of their Diavik operation; through virtual reality.
The Oculus Rift VR headset technology will make its first mining-related
appearance tomorrow at the JCK Luxury show, the world’s biggest diamond jewellery
Users will be able to wear the headset to enter a completely
immersive, computer generated version of the remote Canadian Diavik diamond mine,
all from the comfort of a Rio Tinto trade booth in Las Vegas.
The virtual tour has been developed in conjunction with New York-based
firm Bravo Media.
Rio Tinto Diamonds North American office manager Brandee
Dallow said that the interactive technology will bring 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.”
Ms Dallow said Rio Tinto Diamonds has a long track record of
harnessing technology and innovation in the diamond industry, including X-ray
sorting machines, laser technology to prepare diamonds for cutting and
polishing, and innovations for mining, processing and renewable energy.