Volvo's XC90 Experience Is World's First Full Virtual Reality Test Drive on a Smartphone – at the Los Angeles Auto Show & on Smartphones Everywhere
Rockleigh, N.J. – November 13, 2014 – Volvo Cars is the first automotive brand to use Google Cardboard to transform the way businesses enable audiences to experience a product: through the lens of virtual reality via Google Cardboard. Starting at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Volvo is inviting auto and innovation enthusiasts to experience a revolutionary way to test drive the all-new XC90, months before it arrives in the US.
After downloading the Volvo Reality app and inserting their phone in the Google Cardboard, viewers will be transported into an XC90 where they can explore and immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of the car on the open road.
“Using Google Cardboard exemplifies the marriage of innovation and design engineering. With nothing more than a smartphone, cardboard, two lenses and a magnet, customers can experience a test drive that puts them in the driver's seat of the XC90,” said Bodil Eriksson, EVP, Product, Brand, Marketing & Communications, Volvo Cars North America. “With Google Cardboard we can deliver an experience that is so much richer than simple videos or pictures. We can now transport people into a 360-degree world where they can explore and experience the next-generation luxury SUV, months before it's in dealerships.”
Themed around a weekend escape, the Volvo Reality experience with Google Cardboard lets users immerse themselves in a stunning natural landscape, the interior of the car, and the road itself. The first in a trilogy, “Friday Getaway” begins in an open field, takes you far up into the mountains, and culminates in a stunning look at a star-filled sky. Future episodes will continue the journey. The experience also includes a custom soundtrack to complement the test drive.
"With Cardboard, we want to inspire and encourage the creation of immersive digital experiences," said Andrew Nartker, Product Manager for Google Cardboard. "We're excited to see Volvo build and share their own unique experience at the LA Auto Show using Cardboard."
Volvo teamed up with two award-winning companies to bring this first-of-its-kind experience to the virtual reality road. R/GA created the concept with Volvo and led the design, technical development and implementation of Volvo Reality. Framestore used its virtual reality expertise to film and create an unparalleled test drive in multiple dimensions. Their approach for their first-ever Google Cardboard project included a combination of photoreal CGI and a proprietary, 360-degree VR camera technique.
Initially the experience will be available on Android, with iOS following shortly after. For more information or to request a Google Cardboard kit, please visit www.volvocars.com/us/volvoreality. Fans can follow @VolvoCarsUS on Twitter for more news and share their experiences with the hashtag #VolvoReality. They can also build their own Cardboard using these schematics at g.co/cardboard.
Volvo's XC90 will be in the South Hall Lobby of the Los Angeles Convention Center from November 18 to 30, 2014.