Chrysler turns drivers into technicians via augmented reality
April 15, 2014
Chrysler will this week preview its upcoming three-dimensional augmented reality application at the New York Auto Show, marking an improvement from its previous Mopar AR Ram app.
The new app will allow visitors to experience the 2015 Charger and Challenger models on their own tablets or mobile devices, giving them the ability to custom design vehicles, take 360-degree tours of the interior and exterior offerings and test drive their cars on a virtual track. While several automakers have similarly adopted augmented reality to showcase modification options, Chrysler's self-proclaimed “Mopar” parts and accessories claims to be the largest aftermarket source of accessories designed and tested by the same engineers who created the automobiles.
“Automobiles are one of the areas for which augmented reality is truly ideally suited – and for which the AR experience easily morphs from being a gimmicky brand experience into a true utility for users,” said Ritesh Bhavnani, founder and chairman at Snipp Interactive Inc., Washington.
Mr. Bhavnani is not affiliated with Chrysler. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.
Chrysler declined to comment for this article.
Physical meets digital
This week at the New York Auto Show, Dodge enthusiasts can also experience a unique browser-based 360-degree sneak preview of the new vehicles before it is available in dealer showrooms.
Attendees will have the opportunity to check out the "Dodge 2015 Experience" on iPads programmed with 2015 Charger and Challenger photos, videos and 360-degree exterior and interior views.
The Dodge Challenger and Charger head-to-head
Augmented reality offers marketers a unique opportunity to reach the always-on mobile consumer. Meshing the physical world with the digital, both users and brands are able to connect with a product even further throughout the purchasing cycle.
Although not a newer form of technology, augmented reality has become an increasingly popular marketing strategy, especially in the automotive industry.
Chrysler is far from the first automaker to leverage augmented reality.
For example, german automaker Volkswagen launched a campaign for its app last year promoting luxury sister brand, Audi.
An Audi commercial featuring Playboy magazine showed off interactive automobile advertisements that permitted readers to use a mobile device to uncover hidden potential behind a print magazine.
Aside from using AR for advertising purposes, Audi’s eKurzinfo app gives drivers instant information about its car without fumbling through a manual.
The app familiarizes the user with the interior of the car, just by pointing the user’s mobile device camera at different parts, a new twist on vehicle documentation.
Audi's interactive ad
Porsche also created its own Porsche 360˚app, which beckons with an immersive in-car experience that takes clever advantage of the built-in gyroscopes in Apple devices.
Users “ride along” in the passenger seat of a Porsche 911 as Dutch racing driver Jeroen Bleekemolen wheels it around the Zandvoort track in the Netherlands; the direction of the “camera” can be controlled through a full 360-degree range by tilting and turning the iPad.
Porsche 360 demo
“For any high-value purchase, one of the hardest problems marketers face is getting the consumer to interact with their product offering," Mr. Bhavnani said. "AR can make it dramatically easier for consumers to get a first taste of the car.
“For marketers this means that they can use their advertising spend not just for brand-building, but also to create a clear purchase path for consumers by allowing them to experience the automobile right there and then. Additionally, the app can easily integrate features that make it easy for consumers to sign up for test drives or reward them for certain actions, making it that much more powerful.”
Michelle Saettler is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York
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