BMW i is the first automotive brand in the world to offer customers an interactive, 3-D augmented reality experience of their products in a pilot programme. Using Tango, Google’s smartphone augmented reality technology, customers can explore their ideal BMW i3 or i8, as a real-size, interactive visualization.
“Our vehicles are emotional products and to get that emotional feeling, you really need to experience them,” commented Andrea Castronovo, BMW Group Vice President, Sales Strategy and Future Retail. “In situations where the desired product isn’t available on the spot, this visualisation is the next best thing.”
Selected Product Geniuses will have a consumer mobile device which is Tango-enabled. Using this, they can then support customers to visualize and experience the BMW i products. They will be able to create a 3-D image for interactive exploration. The customer can open the boot or the doors. He can even get “inside” the car to take a closer look at the interior.
Eric Johnsen, Head of Business Development for Augmented Reality 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.”
The quality of the images created is certainly extremely realistic. “In our initial tests, we saw people ducking down when they were getting into the car, as if there really were a roof there for them to bang their heads on,” Andrea Castronovo recalled. “It’s that level of detail which means this technology offers the customers real added value,” he commented.
BMW i is the first automotive brand to use Tango to provide customers with this interactive experience
“BMW i is the spearhead of innovation at the BMW Group. So it’s clearly a good fit for the pilot of this new customer and retail tool,” explained Stefan Biermann, BMW Group Head of Innovations Sales, BMW i.
The BMW i Visualiser App is the latest innovation in the BMW Group’s Future Retail programme. It began rolling out around three years ago. The app transformed the customers’ experience of buying a car.
Accenture designed and developed the BMW i Visualiser. It integrates BMW i picture data of the vehicles into an app which uses Tango technology. It offers customers a new and interactive way to experience the car. Different functions enable customers to open the door or switch on the lights. The app is a visualiser instead of a full configurator. This version keeps the user-experience as intuitive and simple as possible. It allows features such as interior and exterior colours or wheel rims to be altered at a touch of the screen. The customer can save the data once the visualisation is complete. After that he can share it with others – BMW i sales outlets, via social media, email or QR code.
Once the pilot is complete, there are plans to offer the app on Google Play.