AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Energy is implementing new technology that is normally only seen in video games.
The public utility is teaming up with Zpryme to use virtual reality and augmented reality to help customers learn about energy.
It can take users on a virtual trip through West Texas wind farms and give customers a first-hand look at how a lineman fixes a power line as well as provide interactive installation guides for energy-efficient home devices.
“Consumer engagement in the energy space has changed dramatically in recent years with the incorporation of social media and mobile phones,” Zpryme CEO and co-founder Jason Rodriguez said. “However, more change is coming and when we looked beyond those technologies we saw a need for VR and AR apps specifically for utilities and retailers. These new tools will help this industry bring next-level engagement to its consumers by allowing them to learn about renewable energy programs, energy efficiency, smart home technologies and more.”
The VR/AR applications are being demoed at the Energy Thought Summit. The summit is being held at the ACL Moody Theater until Thursday.
Austin Energy plans to showcase the VR experience to customers at events around Austin over the next several months. It’s also working with local schools to set up future events where these tools can be used to educate teachers and students.