Previously, we’ve already seen how car manufacturers are able to bring their customers into their manufacturing process by way of virtual reality. Considering that the future consists of various head-mounted displays and other VR-tech including the Microsoft Hololens, the Oculus Rift and Magic Leap – among others – we may as well start to fabricate these virtual experiences somewhere where they make sense…and the car industry isn’t a bad place to start.
Among other automakers who have shown major interest in incorporating virtual or augmented reality experiences into their shopping experience is Ferrari.
Recently, the famed Italian supercar manufacturer teamed up with augmented reality specialists Metaio and ZSpace to create the Ferrari AR Showroom app, which uses 3D tracking technology to recognize real-world Ferrari cars and either virtually communicate processes or superimpose custom car options ranging from paint colors, rims, brakes and other custom specifications you might expect to see with a $300,000 car.
In short, the new app has effectively brought an experience originally created by video game designers in the 1990s – based on streamlined real-world experiences – back into the real world again.
In total, there are seven “virtual walkaround” options that a customer can select for viewing when using the app. These include a 3D breakdown of a custom brake assembly, an X-ray view of the car that enables a view of all of the components, a visualization of the car in a wind tunnel and other custom views that are designed to make the buying experience that much more immersive and informative.
Currently, the app works on five existing Ferrari models including the California, the 458 Speciale and Spider, the FF and the F12 Berlinetta. The app is able to distinguish between each of the models with a ‘ghosted’ augmented reality form that is then placed over the real-world car using the screen’s built-in camera.
Could this be the future of not just automotive shopping, but shopping in general? Will live virtual reality demonstrations and unique immersive augmented reality experiences become the “new normal” in an effort to reinvigorate the physical store experience?