Idwal Marine Services offers virtual reality ship inspections
Idwal Marine Services are claiming a first in the ship inspection market by offering a virtual reality tour of vessels.
Chairman Chris Williams and managing director Nick Owens gave customers a preview of the product last week and expect the Google Street View style walk around of ships may become the norm for shipping over time.
Owens says the product draws inspiration from the real estate market and the hotel industry and believes it can achieve similar success in the conservative shipping sector.
“It gives an absolute reflection of what the ship looks like at the time of the inspection,” he said, noting it would be a breakthrough in terms of transparency.
Preparing the vessel tour does not add any time to the typical inspection and the increased coverage should remove doubts that something could have been missed onboard, Williams says.
He sees demand for the service in the sale and purchase market and among public companies where investors are demanding ever-greater transparency.
Idwal expects to inspect around 1,000 vessels this year and will offer the service to clients as an option at the initial stage.
However, Owens believes the technology will be blended into the standard inspection report over time.