Microsoft And Volvo Bring Augmented Reality To Car Shopping
The car showroom of the future has no cars
Swedish automaker Volvo has a long-held reputation as a car company that puts safety first. Some safety features, like replacing spear-like traditional steering wheel shafts with bulkier, non-impaley versions are easy to see. Other features, like laser sensors that detect the movements of nearby cars, are a little trickier to demonstrate on the showroom floor. So, to advertise their safety in the modern era, Volvo teamed with Microsoft to create models of the cars in virtual reality:
There are no actual cars in this showroom. Instead, prospective buyers wear goggles for Microsoft’s HoloLens system, which displays virtual objects like they’re holograms, and walk around virtual visions of both the car and the invisible systems that make the car and its safety features work. The cars’ invisible sensor fields are envisioned as colorful waves, a neon-bright world of awareness that you’d never see in a regular showroom.
As new, safer cars get increasingly autonomous, convincing humans that it’s a good idea for a car to have control is a tricky proposition. Visualizing the sensors in such a compelling fashion is a pretty good way to sell it. Watch a promo for the HoloLens showroom below: