Rio Tinto harnesses virtual reality for mine tour

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Oculus Rift technology offers unique experience for diamond industry.

Rio Tinto Diamonds has harnessed the power of ‘Oculus Rift’ technology to offer the global diamond industry an interactive virtual journey through its Diavik diamond mine in the remote northwest territories of Canada.

Rio Tinto partnered with New York based Bravo Media Inc. to custom design the Oculus Rift experience – a wearable virtual reality headset that provides a completely immersive, computer generated environment for the user.

Oculus Rift, which debuted at the Rio Tinto booth (LUX105) at JCK’s Luxury Show yesterday (May 27) in Las Vegas, has been designed to “bring to life the mining experience in a very compelling way,” according to Riot Tinto manager Brandee Dallow.

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Dallow added: “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.”

Rio Tinto Diamonds has a long track record of harnessing technology and innovation for the diamond industry, including X-ray sorting machines, laser technology to prepare diamonds for cutting and polishing as well as solutions in mining, processing and renewable energy.

“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,” added Dallow.

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