Virtual Reality Makes Inroads in to Rural Maharashtra

Immersive media like virtual reality are making inroads into a number of businesses, ranging from education and entertainment to aviation and tourism.

This component of the ‘MetaVerse’ is spreading not just in urban India but rural areas. Thanks to the efforts made by India Tourism Mumbai and the content and technology powered by the start-up TellMe, visitors at the recent Shining Maharashtra Exhibition held at Phaltan had a memorable encounter with VR: Meta Quest.

The showcase of VR in tourism and culture provided a unique opportunity to visitors of all ages. From youth to seniors, stunning views of exotic places like Dal Lake in Srinagar, Gateway of India, and Malshej Ghat near Pune were experienced.

On popular demand, particularly from women and seniors, an immersive darshan of Shree Mahalaxmi of Kolhapur and several other temples was also given.

Audiences of all ages responded with a lot of enthusiasm to the footage seen and described their experience as one of actually being there – but virtually. Students, in particular, were enthusiastic at seeing more and were also inquisitive to know if their education curriculum can be shown in VR.

The exhibition by TellMe served as good validation of these concepts in the Metaverse. In response to the positive feedback from the exhibition visitors, the organisers of Shining Maharashtra 2022, the Swaraj Foundation, Phaltan, felicitated TellMe and Indiatourism with the ‘Best Interactive Stall Award’.

“We are working on creating high quality and immersive digital content of points of interests pan-India. We use all modes of photography- 360 degree panoramas, videos, aerial shoots using drones, and high quality 2D videos,” explained Srinivasa Rao, Director and Promoter of TellMe. The Pune-based startup is working on cutting edge technologies in the field of digital content and geospatial data.

"The response and excitement generated in all demographic groups has motivated us to accelerate our plans. We will also cater to the educational content segment which is much in demand to make subjects like history and geography more interesting,” he added.

TellMe being awarded in Shining Maharashtra

This media technology can also cater to the needs of those who are seniors or differently abled. “We took our VR headsets to old-age homes and were pleasantly surprised to see the eagerness and appreciation of the content,” Srinivasa observes.

“The emotions expressed while they were viewing the content was unbelievable. A senior citizen actually folded her hand with reverence while viewing Mahalaxmi of Kolhapur in the aarti video played on VR,” he added.

Srinivasa thanked India Tourism Mumbai for taking the initiative of exhibiting VR in all the road shows and exhibitions.

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