BMW rolls out augmented reality product showcase

BMW i: showcasing augmented reality in dealerships
BMW i: showcasing augmented reality in dealerships

Automotive brand BMW is rolling out a pilot programme enabling customers to explore their ideal BMW i3 or i8 model as a real-size, interactive visualization.

The interactive, 3D augmented reality (AR) experience, created for sub-division BMW i, uses Tango, Google’s smartphone AR technology and will be piloted from today (5 January) in selected dealerships.

Andrea Castronovo, BMW group vice president, sales strategy and future retail said: "Our vehicles are emotional products and to get that emotional feeling, you really need to experience them. In situations where the desired product isn’t available on the spot, this visualisation is the next best thing."

'Product geniuses' within selected BMW sales outlets will be provided with a consumer mobile device which is Tango-enabled. Using this, they can then support customers to visualize and experience the BMW i products, using AR to create a 3D image which can be explored interactively.

As part of the experience, the customer can open the boot or the doors, even getting "inside" the car to take a closer look at the interior. Once the visualisation is complete, the customer can save the data and share it with others, including BMW i sales outlets, via social media, email or QR code.

Eric Johnsen, head of business development for AR at Google, said: "The thing that sets Tango apart is the fact that it understands the context of the space that it’s in. So the wheels are really on the floor, for example, giving the whole experience a much more realistic feel."

BMW i is the first automotive brand to use Tango to provide customers with this interactive experience. The BMW i visualiser was designed and developed by Accenture, integrating BMW i picture data of the vehicles into an app which uses Tango technology.

BMW used Google Spotlight Stories technology to create a 360° interactive virtual reality brand experience, broadcasted via YouTube. The brand also appointed experiential agency TRO to deliver activations at Goodwood Festival of Speed for the next two years. 

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