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BMW shares its Visionary virtual reality experience

Vison Next 100 on display in BMW’s interactive 360-degree virtual reality video

21 Dec 2016

BMW is offering a glimpse of what is likely to be the future of car display showrooms and the customer purchase experience, with a virtual walkthrough of its Vision Next 100 concept car.

Available to view via YouTube on a computer and Android devices, and through the Google Spotlight Story application on iOS products, the short video comprises a tour of the digital concept car, with users given a full 360-degree control of the camera perspective.

While users on a computer are limited to just clicking and dragging to shift viewpoints, mobile users are able to take full advantage of in-built gyroscopes and virtual reality headsets – including Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR – for a completely immersive virtual reality experience.

The video features interactive points where users can focus on product specific information, including a close up of the concept car’s morphing wheel arches, a look at the transforming steering wheel and dashboard, as well as a view of the car’s high-tech safety systems.

BMW is the first car-maker to make use of emerging virtual reality technologies to showcase a car and, despite the video only highlighting the Vision Next 100, represents a direction all car manufacturers and dealerships could take to promote their wares.

The virtual walk around would eliminate the need for customers to step foot into a conventional showroom and could even allow car-makers to simulate driving experiences and key product details.

BMW head of digital marketing Jourg Poggenpohl said the new video highlights the German brand’s commitment to charging ahead with future technologies.

“’Visionary’ perfectly shows how the BMW Group masterfully applies new possibilities of digital communications, to create intense and amazing experiences,” he said.

“We are the first automotive brand to use Google Spotlight Stories. This perfectly fits the self-conception of BMW as innovator and creator of the future.

Jung von Matt – the digital agency behind the video – director Max Lederer said the collaboration broke new ground in programming and envisioned similar videos in the future.

“A team of specialists has worked its way through a whole new software, which was simultaneously developed further in Mountain View,” he said.

“Together with the great team of Google in Germany and in the US, a digital lighthouse project has been created, which in the opinion of Jung von Matt represents the future of mobile brand experience: interactive storytelling in a virtual space.”

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