Chevrolet adopts augmented-reality showroom

Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) agencies Carat and Isobar are showing off V-Showroom, an AR (augmented reality) showroom app built for General Motors International (GMI).

The system, launched back in May at 110 Chevrolet dealerships in Korea, requires an iPad with a bit of optical hardware attached to it, but can place a 3D replica of a vehicle (the Chevy Cruze) into any environment—from coffee table to garage to street. From the video above, it seems that in a real-world showroom, sales staff can point the iPad at an actual car to change its colour or show it speeding down a road. Potential buyers can also explore the interior of their virtual vehicle and see various options. 

The agencies claim GMI is "the first automotive brand to use Mixed Reality (MR) at scale in Asia" and that GMI plans a global rollout of the system.

The companies haven't shared any information about effectiveness, but their plans to expand the use of the app indicate it works. Clearly, the ability to have a virtual showroom is an advantage in densely populated markets. But we wonder if AR apps also have positive psychological impacts. If you see a car (or any product) in your own mobile device or in virtual form in your own real-world environments, does it seem more like your product? Does the experience get you closer to making a purchase? We would love to see some real, robust data on that. 

This article first ran on Campaign Asia-Pacific

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