The Man Behind Chippy’s Virtual High Street
There’s nothing Chippy businessman Gary Snyder likes better than telling a story in a new way – allowing his audience to explore the nooks and crannies of places they’ve never been.
That’s the beauty of Gary’s virtual tours, which use the latest interactive technology to open up shops, homes, public places, film locations and even Chippy High Street for online viewing on your tablet or smartphone.
When Gary films a property or place with this immersive technology, he can show off any angle, aspect, twist and turn he chooses – which is then available for the viewer to recreate and explore in detail, at their leisure.
Gary, of Ocuaris, has given his services free to provide an amazing virtual tour of Chippy’s museum, truly taking viewers on a trip down memory lane. He’s also filmed full 3D virtual tours of Chipping Norton Health Centre, Jaffe & Neale Bookshop and MASH, along with an interactive view of the town’s attractive high street – all shown in the video gallery below.
This smart entrepreneur is offering his services to local businesses at a special rate of £99 for a complete virtual tour, planning to work his way around town until Chippy can boast a totallyvirtual high street!
Gary is also involved in the production of virtual location shoots, saving production companies massive amounts of time and money checking out locations in person. He works to give emerging tech companies quick market penetration, as well as developing an anti-bullying monitor for social media.
Yes, he eats digital for breakfast! Read Gary’s Q & A to find out more.
Why did you choose Chippy to live in, and how long have you been here?
“I’ve lived full-time in Chippy for the last 15 years. I’m an American and prior to moving back there, I had lived on and off in the UK since 1986. When we decided to move for good to the UK we wanted to settle in an English town that had traditional values with a sense of community along with good schools, support services (doctor and dentist), local shopping and friendly atmosphere, as well as being a beautiful place to live. We spent a great deal of time looking at different locations and came across Chippy and it ticked all the boxes.
Can you tell me about your business Ocuaris, whether you started it from scratch and how it’s faring?
“I’ve started a couple of businesses, one which produces Virtual Tours (VT) for several sectors to include the property sector, leisure industry, hospitality and historical locations. These VT’s push the boundaries of content creation and deliver truly immersive and interactive storytelling experiences to audiences online, on mobile, and in virtual reality.
“This technology is providing an entirely new way to experience the world and interact with different places of interest, whether it’s walking through a prospective new home, strolling through a faraway museum, or going inside locations. These VT’s can be viewed via PC, smartphone, tablet or on a virtual headset.
“I also produce VT’s for the Media Industry (Film and Television) where instead of sending out a complete crew to do a location recce I produce a VT of the location which saves the production company time and money in determining if the prospective location is right for their purposes.
Do you have another digitally-based business too?
“My other business is a Marketing company which has several global clients. We specialize in emerging technology companies who need to gain market penetration quickly to establish themselves as leaders in their new market space.
“We are also currently launching a new Anti-Bullying solution that we plan on rolling out nationally. It will monitor people’s social feeds and prevent any negative or bullying comments from being posted onto individual social sites. It will also assist in monitoring any issues with an individual at risk of self-harm.
What is unique about Ocuaris?
“We are market leaders in the VT space but the uptake has been slow as the field is an emerging one and takes time to establish itself as an everyday type of promotional solution and viewing experience. We’ve had good success with young companies but the older established companies are still not sure about embracing this type of technology. But we know it will come in time.
How do you stay connected with your local community?
“I’m very connected with the local community and an active member of ECN. In the past I’ve worked as volunteer on local campaigns including Save Chippy Hospital.
“I don’t have the time to focus on social media as much as I’d like, even though I know it’s an important part of any marketing campaign.
Is technology changing the way you connect with your customers?
“Yes, all the time. Many of my customers I’ve never met face to face, as we communicate by email, Skype or other electronic means.
What motivates you to keep getting out of bed in the morning?
“The challenge of developing the next new thing or concept, and to have the chance of promoting this new technology. In many cases I give free advice to start-ups who often came back to me once their product is market ready and ask me to help them promote their product or service.
Why did you join ECN, and how do you see ECN’s role?
“I signed up to ECN and am a Committee Member because I believe in Chippy and want to do everything in my power to preserve Chippy’s way of life and culture, to help Chippy grow in a positive way.
“By helping Chippy grow I hope that we can create additional opportunities for others to relocate here which, hopefully, will bring additional jobs and continued prosperity. We have a unique way of life here and I want to ensure that the community light and spirit never goes out.”