Taking place over 12 VR pods, the experience featured a series of interactive technology stories, to dive deeper into the mechanics of the E-PACE. With Vive’s tracked controllers, guests could rotate the model to view from all angles and lift away sections of the car to reveal the interior. Whole sections of the car could be interacted with, such as opening the boot to get a 3D view of the capacity inside, or removing the engine for a close up look.
The VR experience culminated in placing the participant between two ramps in the heart of a thrilling car stunt. The 15.3 metre-long jump complete with a 270-degree corkscrew-like ‘barrel roll’ stunt was then spectacularly recreated live at the ExCel, setting an official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title, for the Furthest Barrel roll in a Production Vehicle.
A few years ago I moderated a panel on developing AR/VR experiences for business applications using Salesforce data.* One of the panelists demoed a mixed reality experience he’d developed for car dealers: A car shopper sits behind the wheel of a new car (either in person at the dealership, or in a digital car via VR). The shopper selects available vehicle options – trim, options, interior color, etc – and the digital car changes in real-time to reflect the selections. When the shopper glances at the driver’s side window, a virtual window sticker updates the car’s price to reflect the selected options.
It was genius; the panel audience was wowed by the combination of whiz-bang technology and obvious business use case.
Whatever happens (or not) in the mainstream consumer space, VR will continue to grow in the enterprise. Awesomely sticky experiences in controlled environments like press launches and retail showrooms will provide more bang for the buck in VR than via any other medium, including physical reality, over the next few years.
*Side note: One of the other panelists was founder of an AR company called Augment. Looks like Salesforce Ventures invested $3M in them a year later. Maybe I should host more panels?