Author James Doble

Date November 2017

Categories Branding, Technology

Creating and branding cases for VR hardware

Creating custom cases for a client’s VR project not only provided a bespoke solution to securing the hardware in transit, but also allowed us to inject their branding into every aspect of the experience.

Pelican Case Neutral Digital

At the start of 2017, Air Canada approached Neutral Digital to create a VR experience to promote their new 787 Dreamliner Business class seats. We designed the digital experience as well as providing the hardware, which would be shipped to international exhibitions and events and used by thousands of people around the world. You can see the project for yourself here.

We were aware of the importance of the logistics side of planning international events and tradeshows. Air Canada’s experience would be touring the world and displayed across at least 9 locations, so we saw a fantastic opportunity to go the extra mile and create a bespoke case that matched up to the quality of the experience.

Creating a bespoke Pelican case

The client required a set of 5 VR kits to travel between shows and events internationally, each consisting of an Oculus Rift headset, two controllers, two trackers and a PC, as well as all the cables and accessories required to run it. The standard off-the-shelf solution from Pelican would be their iM2975 Storm Case, which we use here at Neutral for transporting PC systems and bulky equipment. However, the black case and grey pick-and-pluck foam was quite uninspiring considering the tech that it was going to be home to. We decided to brand the outside and inside with decals, laser-etched logos and custom-cut foam inserts.

Pelican Case Virtual Reality

A two-step process

Designing the foam inserts

The first step in creating our case was designing the foam inserts. Each component of the Oculus is uniquely shaped and proved awkward to accurately measure. Using a combination of measurements and pictures we were able to create accurate outlines of the components in Adobe Illustrator, which were then arranged and imported into Solidworks. Here we created a 3D mockup which contained all the dimensions our manufacturer needed to create the final foam inserts and etched logos.

Branding the Pelican cases

Once the cases arrived we were able to remove the Pelican stickers and use their dimensions and finish as a reference to get matching Neutral Digital stickers printed, as well as creating vinyl decals which were applied to the exterior of the case to make them distinctly Air Canada.

Pelican Case Design

The final outcome

The cases have been shipped across the world for shows in Paris, Toronto and Taipei, and have successfully delivered our equipment in one piece. We’re now looking ahead to installations in Germany and Italy as well as seeing how we can continue to improve their design and portability. For additional details on the project, our case study can be read here.

We’re happy to announce that we are making the cutout measurements openly available to use with a Creative Commons licence. Visit this link to download the .ai file to create your own case. We have plans to improve the case in the future so stay up-to-date with its progress by following us on Twitter @neutraldigital

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Neon Specialists / Vinyl Projects for providing the decals and stickers with a friendly and fast service.