I was at the IAA 2011 this Saturday, and I got a glimpse of our automobile future! It was truly awe inspiring to see where the automobile industry is headed – almost all electric, fully computerized with interactive dashboards and window displays as seen in the below picture…
But while I looked at all the cars with amazement, I kept a close look out for innovative implementations of “todays” cutting edge technologies. I was curious to see how cars makers would use Touch Displays, Social Media, QR Codes, Augmented Reality etc to engage visitors at such a humongous event.
Here is a quick photo report of what I found interesting and innovative at the show…
The Volkswagen Blue Motion technology was presented through a huge “motion based” interactive display. The visitors did not need to touch the display, but just use various gestures to navigate through the various menu options.
Visitors were able to use the motion based interactive display to learn more about Renault Twingo – one could change the colors of the model, watch demo videos etc.
The main draw at the Hyundai stall was the “Dream of Sand” show by Svetlana Goncharenko and Natalya Netselya who created vivid pictures in realtime on sand (as seen above)! For a non Hyundai branded sand demo click here.
Hyundai was also one of the only car brands trying to connect their stall with Facebook. Consumers needed to “Like” their Facebook Page in order to be part of a lucky draw that would give them a chance to drive their Hyundai dream car. Important details like Fan Page URL and more contest infos were not available or just not easily accessible? 😕
Skoda was giving its visitors Augmented Reality Pins! The Junaio AR app needed to be used to scan the pin and activate the augmented reality. Most of the pins were gone by the time I got there. So I just scanned the above info card to see if I got some cool three dimensional messaging. But it turned out to be just 9 different regional videos.
At the Citroen Eco Drive simulator, visitors could take the car for a 3D test drive!
iPads were being used by majority of the car manufactures to interactively share model specifications, videos, brochures and also take automated enquires from high potential buyers.
Opel had used the Microsoft Surface technology to share infos on their cars. It was my first live experience with the surface technology. I found it to work exactly like the Apple touch interface, even though it was not as sensitive and smooth.
Ford just like Citroen and Volvo had also set up a car simulator at their stall (as seen above).
They also engaged the visitors with a small “collect the stamps” game. The game made the visitors goto each section of the Ford stall, correctly answer some easy questions related to the car / technology, collect the stamps and get nice Ford branded water bottles. Additionally visitors could play further and win 2 tickets for the UEFA Champions League Finals in 2012.
Visitors could scan the QR code on the floor to view a short Chevrolet Volt specs video.
The Volvo Open 70 Simulator, gave visitors a first hand experience of what all the Volvo Sailing team goes through when they go sailing in the ocean…
On taking the ride I could not help but slide steeply from left to right on the seat. There was also non stop wind blowing on my head with regular splashes of water! It gave a great 4D kind of experience to the whole thing.
Additionally visitors could also try to hoist a virtual sail! On my second attempt I managed to hoist the sail in 12.3 seconds. The current record was set at 9.03 seconds by one of the previous visitors…
I really enjoyed visiting the Mini Cooper stall. Their displays were just amazing! A beautiful Mini surrounded by a bright circular display was seen on entering the stall…
Mini’s in all colors were on display with various digital displays on the walls…
They were also showcasing their new iPhone app for their car which claimed to be the intelligent link between the driver and his Mini. This new Driving Excitement App had features that helped the driver perfect an even more sporty and precise driving style…
I also spotted Lancia, Fiat and Alfa Romeo promoting their iPhone apps via simple leaflets.
A nice souvenirs section also greeted visitors on the first floor of their stall.
In the end I got to drive my own Mini. 😉
The BMW stall was the biggest in terms of size and digital displays! Two of the most stunning concept cars from the whole of IAA could be seen here.
The car from the above photo has been used in the new hollywood blockbuster “Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol.”
Above is the BMW i3 Concept city car. At its stall I found an interactive telescope (seen below) through which I could watch various videos and product demos. To select a video I had to move the telescope around and point it at the desired video…
I spent 7 hours at IAA! It was totally awesome! The only car stalls I could not visit were that of the Mercedes and Audi…there were just way too many people crowding their stalls, and if I had waited, I would have missed at least half of all the other things I saw during my time there.
I look forward to the next Internationale Automobil Ausstellung in 2 years. Till then this is Sunil Bahl signing off from IAA 2011. 😎