Is Virtual Reality Car Shopping the wave of the future?
- Most popular among visitors to the IDx kiosk at the Tokyo Motor Show Nissan stand was the IDx NISMO extreme sports interpretation
- Immense variety of virtual cars reflects the personalities of the co-creators
- Co-creation project points towards new ways of engaging digital natives with the auto industry
YOKOHAMA, Japan - The way people buy cars is changing. A choice of colors and matching rims is no longer enough. In a society where cars are purchased as a reflection - and enabler - of a driver's lifestyle, the way future models are designed needs to be revolutionized. This was the thinking behind the Nissan IDx co-creation idea: using the visionary co-creation strategy to invite a global community of drivers and enthusiasts to enter into a dialogue with Nissan and help shape automotive design for a new generation of drivers.
Nissan unveiled the first tangible fruits of the co-creation process at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show - the IDx Freeflow and IDx NISMO concept cars. The IDx Freeflow is laid-back, simple and clean. The IDx NISMO is a racecar that looks as if it came straight out of a driving simulator game.
Innovative and eye-catching though they are, the two concepts are just the beginning of the IDx possibilities. Nissan partnered with digital agency AKQA to build an immersive virtual world that allowed motor show visitors to co-create their own designs at the Nissan stand. It was powered by groundbreaking Virtual Reality technology from Oculus. Well over a hundred concept car images were co-created and shared on social media. The most popular among the Tokyo Motor Show visitors to the IDx kiosk on the Nissan stand was the extreme sports interpretation of the IDx NISMO. A unique re-imagining of the IDx Freeflow, a coupe interpretation, came a very close second.
On entering the 3D experience by putting on goggles, each user was given a base chassis of a Nissan IDx concept car to accompany them on their co-creation journey. With it, the viewer traveled through a series of immersive 3D worlds, each requiring the user to make a choice before they could continue. Each choice was designed to find out about the individual user and their needs and desires as a driver: Are they a thrill-seeker or a laid-back cruiser? A gear-head or an electric rebel? Nissan IDx was the canvas on which they drew their dream car. The future of car design is here, and everyone's invited.
Commenting on Nissan IDx, Nissan's global head of digital strategy, DeLu Jackson, said: "At Nissan we are always looking for the most innovative and engaging ways of delighting our customers. From the external design of our vehicles to the quality and feel of the materials within, to the technology we use to enhance the driving experience, innovation is what drives us. Our presence at motor shows and customer-facing forums is no different; we want to use groundbreaking technologies innovatively to delight existing and new customers of our brand."
Nick Turner, Executive Creative Director, AKQA, said: "Nissan seeks to excite through innovation. Its commitment to that mission is seen throughout its organization, from its innovative product designs to its investment in electric vehicles. It's no surprise that a company as forward-thinking as theirs has chosen to adopt this groundbreaking technology to brilliantly demonstrate its co-creation platform at the Tokyo Motor Show."