Mercedes XR

When Mercedes went XR, they went big with Magic Leap, motion platform VR and mobile AR.

Brief:

Draw & Code were commissioned by events and communication agency Meet & Potato to create three immersive experiences for Mercedes-Benz Vans. They formed the centrepiece of a roadshow that was to tour the UK with three experiential installations that sought to explain the Mercedes vision for the future of mobility. The full XR spectrum was to be represented – AR, MR and VR.

Process:

A Magic Leap experience was to be the highlight of the installations. The user would be able to explore a tabletop cityscape with animated vehicles moving through it and annotations hovering above. However, rather than leave the centre of the space bare, we opted for a physical representation of the city. This provided a focal point to the room and it meant that the mixed reality experience was even more vivid and ‘real’.

The city scene was soundtracked by spatial audio. This meant that as the user got closer to a vehicle or a building, the sound effects were correspondingly louder and appeared to be emanating from the correct place.

The second experience placed visitors into the cab of the Mercedes van using 360 video and virtual reality using a suite of Oculus Rift S headsets. Coupled with custom motion platform rigs, it was the closest thing to stepping inside the vehicle itself that could be managed in the space afforded by the 18-wheeler the experiences sat inside.

Last but certainly not least, a mobile AR app that was pre-loaded on iPads allowed the visitors to engage with backlit images that acted as triggers to several brand interactions.

Result:

The Mercedes-Benz adVANce roadshow headed out to tour the UK with a fantastic reaction from the German firm’s top brass including their new CEO.

Here was a client who was willing to embrace the full spectrum of XR and wanted to see the right technology used to tell the story.

As one of the first Magic Leap experiences to use a bespoke physical set to anchor the action, this was technically and creatively a very satisfying project to get our teeth into.

For an immersive technology studio like ourselves, the parallels between this travelling roadshow housed in a truck and the ‘Reality on Wheels’ VR expo organised to help sell early virtual technologies to the movie industry is something to savour!


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