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Hyundai modernizes car owner's manual with augmented reality spin

Hyundai is paving the way for automotive manufacturers seeking to cater to mobile-savvy car owners by rolling out an augmented reality manual application that brings accessible how-to information to smartphones.

The brand claims to be the premier mainstream automaker to introduce a 2D and 3D owner?s manual for mobile devices and tablets, suggesting that others could be quick to follow. The virtual guide offers consumers an easy way to access important vehicle information without needing to carry around a paper manual and skim pages to find desired details.

?With its reinvention of the traditional owner?s manual, Hyundai is tapping into the educational capabilities of augmented reality,? said Omaid Hiwaizi, president of global marketing at Blippar, London. ?The carmaker is offering people an exciting, visually driven AR experience that also enables them to access directly relevant, instantaneous information about their vehicles.

?Adapting complicated diagrams and dense text in traditional paper car manuals to fit today?s digital world means users can have a more convenient, seamless and engaging experience when learning to apply the practicalities of car maintenance and repair,? he said. ?Drivers? manuals are just the tip of the iceberg for employing AR in the auto industry.

?For example, augmented windshields have received some buzz this year because of their ability to provide immediate and safe access to information regarding navigation, speed limit changes, and other road-related guidance. Considering today?s digitally oriented consumer, we?ll likely see a lot more innovation stemming from AR applications in the auto industry.?

Modern take on manuals
Hyundai is introducing the augmented reality manual app later this year. The feature, coined the Hyundai Virtual Guide, will be compatible with its 2015 Sonata vehicle, with reincarnations for future models planned for the future as well.

Sonata owners may download the app for free for their Android or iOS devices, with which they can receive a slew of information regarding 45 major car features.

Users will be able to access details about maintenance, repairs and other tools to help with upkeep and minor issues. The car manufacturer claimed it undertook a quality consumer survey to accurately pinpoint the most difficult-to-use features, which were then implemented into the virtual guide.

App users may also find 82 how-to videos, in addition to 50 informational guides.

Additionally, six 3D images are available. Consumers may scan certain areas of their car with their smartphone to pull up these images and better understand the parts involved.

The virtual guide offers how-to information on other features including engine oil, brake fluid, smart cruise control, air filter, fuse box and Bluetooth phone pairing among others.

Better user experiences
Hyundai believes the augmented reality app will better educate consumers about their vehicles and how to use specific functions. This rollout may also entice more millennial and mobile-savvy customers to consider purchasing a Hyundai car, particularly if they are not well-versed with maintaining automotive features.

Modernizing car manuals is a smart solution, as it can also help ensure customer safety. Often times, consumers are reluctant to lug around heavy manuals or sift through tens of pages to find the information they are searching for.

However, the omnipresence of smartphones means that owners can easily pull up the app if they are experiencing car troubles and find the pertinent details within seconds. More automotive brands should absolutely follow in Hyundai?s footsteps with this rollout, and ensure their app is free for any car owner.

Hyundai has previously innovated manuals by revamping the luxury experience with an iOS manual app for the Equus model. Two years ago, the manufacturer introduced the Hyundai Assurance Car Care app, which placed the manual inside the vehicle?s touchscreen.

Last spring, Hyundai attempted to enhance the driving experience even more for its customers via a Blue Link application for smartwatches that allows drivers to remote lock, unlock and unstart their vehicles (see story).

?Updating the car owner?s manual helps tech-savvy audiences associate auto brands with innovation, safety and trustworthiness,? Mr. Hiwaizi said. ?As millennial car owners continue to expect a constantly mobile, connected world, offering immersive experiences is an excellent way for auto brands to connect with millennial drivers.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Marketer, New York