Published on January 15th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Audi to offer virtual reality in showrooms
Part of the fun of purchasing a new car is selecting from a list of options- at least this applies more to higher end cars were option lists are not fixed in place by mass market product planning decisions. Some options are easy to visualise, such as new head units or dual zone air conditioning.
Some things are a little more difficult to imagine. Colour matching is difficult without seeing the car in the metal and leather, as well as understanding how everything ties together. This is all likely to change with the introduction of virtual reality walkarounds in Audi showrooms.
The premise is simple. Customers can select their options and take a virtual tour of their car to see how everything looks from a first person perspective. Audi also includes the audio aspect of a physical tour by providing Bang and Olufsen headphones, transmitting a full range of acoustic information for a variety of noises. From the solid thud of a door closing to the top of the range acoustic speakers, Audi would have developed the audio for the VR system.
Audi has used virtual systems to allow customers to personalise their cars and options as they see fit, through large 1 to 1 scale screens. This level of virtual configuration is not nearly as immersive as the new virtual reality headsets that Audi will bring into play. There are eventual plans to do home visits for potential customers to let them explore their ideal Audi in the comfort of their home- effectively allowing a degree of freedom from showrooms.
Now the only thing left to do is provide a sense of physical feel, and Audi is all set.