Chamber introduces virtual guide to real world

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Courtesy photo TEMI the robot has been designed to help provide virtual support to East County visitors

The San Diego Regional East County Chamber of Commerce took a step forward in innovation, revealing its personal robotic assistant TEMI, a virtual reality robot to be used to greet guests, support large events, and introduce chamber members to arriving tourists.
Virtual Reality for Main Street presented VR and Robotics Demo Day at the Chamber’s ribbon cutting ceremony on April 28, demonstrating how this innovation can provide fresh innovative ideas for East County residents to explore.
A member of the chamber, Virtual Reality for Main Street founder Todd Brinkman, said he sells virtual reality, augmented reality, and robotics, with TEMI.
“I am launching my company Virtual Reality for Main Street, part of project called Project Piercing Glimpse,” he said. “It is my fun way saying local leaders are going to come together and really look at what Main Street USA will look like in the future with all our modern technologies. Starting the conversation of local leaders feeling empowered with all the recent technology. Then we can insert Main Street values into the virtual reality robotics conversation.”
Brinkman said TEMI is an extension of what they will be doing, creating videos of things in East County, with the project with the chamber using both virtual reality and TEMI, which is the robot.
“We will be creating many videos of hotels, restaurants, retail stores, golf courses, and then delivering them to arriving tourists,” he said. “So, if people come into East County, they are not going to just pick up and head downtown. They will have a VR headset where they can learn about the history, some of the restaurants, hiking trails, Santee Lakes, and fun things that can be done around the area.”
Brinkman said TEMI will be the robotic extension of the chamber, introducing the community to robotics and start interacting so people that come into the chamber can learn about the chamber and what the region has to offer. He said TEMI is simply interactive, like asking it to tell you about local pizza places.
“We will also bring it out to events,” he said. “TEMI will greet people and help people as he takes the 700 chamber members and places it in the robot. People will start interacting with it and start learning and navigating it.”
With his business in Lemon Grove, Brinkman said TEMI is designed to extend the reach of local government and chambers in the area by providing information to people in the community. He said he is beginning with the chamber but plans to extend TEMI out to more governments and organizations. He said TEMI would work great for hotels, providing local information and events to people staying there. He said he is starting local but plans to bring TEMI and virtual reality globally.
“It is a way to help people feel connected,” he said. “As the world goes really big with virtual reality, I am going hyperlocal with all these technologies in helping communities and individuals.”
Brinkman said he will be going to restaurants and other businesses, recording them with a 360-degree camera. He said bringing these technologies to business and individuals is not as expensive as people may think. The camera costs as pandemic restrictions are lifted $400 to $600. He said it uses Quest 2 headsets, which costs $299, and TEMI the personal robot runs around $4,000.
“Many people will be buying these now,” he said. “The CDC says 28% of seniors live alone, so seniors will be buying these personal robots. If not, their kids will be buying them for them for the extra security of them being safe. If they fall, or my mom is not answering her phone, I can find my mom with my robot.”
Brinkman said locally at the chamber, its function is for the chamber and its membership as a community project. He said he hopes to work for local governments, economic development councils, businesses as he moves forward.
“This is my first project as a company, so I will now start looking for funding as a company,” he said. “I am looking to hire many people in technology, so that is a lot of local tech jobs which is a win for the community.”
Brinkman said he is looking for local content now. He said its virtual reality projects are going into senior living facilities, and that the technology has endless possibilities in reaching government, businesses, and individuals in numerous ways of use. Chambers, hospitals, government, politics, senior living, hospice, homeless and more.
“This is the first large-scale VR community project, so we will be creating many projects throughout the community,” he said. “It is exciting.”
Brinkman said his personal project is VR Ministry, with the first project being a VR prison ministry working with Rock Church, which will be the first VR prison ministry helping inmates learn through VR training so when they come out of prison, they come out with new skillsets. And they can go to VR church.
“It is exciting for a big East County win,” he said. “If I get to lead this, I want to do these things as community projects. We do things better as a community. If we can use VR for bad things, we can also do it for good.”

Chamber introduces virtual guide to real world