San Francisco, Calif. – Confectionery maker Tcho is developing a virtual factory that would allow customers to visit its chocolate plant online.
Tcho’s 30,000-sq.-ft. San Francisco factory as installed hundreds of sensors that will send out real-time data and video to create the online environment. Different users will be able to access different data and images. At some point viewers will also be able to use avatars to move about the plant, as well as to interact with other users.
According to a report on confectionerynews.com, the technology will allow the creation of multi-user collaborative spaces, and will eventually enable tasks such as employee training, customer visits, inspections and inventory monitoring. The company says that customers will also be able to track chocolate products as they move through the production process.
Software for the technology is being developed by Fuji Xerox’s FXPal research lab in Palo Alto, Calif. The chocolatier has already worked with FXPal to develop an iPhone app that allows its R&D team to remotely control factory equipment such as roasters, melangers, grinders and heaters.
Tcho produces premium-quality dark chocolate products, including organic and fair trade-certified varieties.