General Motors unveils ‘mixed reality showroom’ in South Korea

General Motors International has unveiled its first ‘mixed-reality’ showroom that allows consumers to virtually navigate a car dealership experience without travelling to the site itself .

Dubbed the V-Showroom, the application merges the real and virtual worlds to create an overlay of augmented content that interacts with the physical space – hence the term ‘mixed reality’.

The American manufacturer’s new Chevrolet Cruze will be the first to use the experience in South Korea, although the company intends to roll it out to other markets in Asia and globally.

Developed by Carat and Isobar, the technology works through an iPad bearing a ‘structural depth sensor’. Using this sensor, any physical space can be scanned in real-time in order to place a 3D replica of the Chevrolet in front of the prospective consumer, which can be then scaled to life-sized.

In South Korea, many car showrooms are located in distant or inaccessible locations, meaning dealership conversations and transactions can often take place in central venues, such as coffee shops. Moreover, the showroom may not always have the full range of cars.

Using this insight, Carat and Isobar built the technology to work as an alternative to a brochure, allowing car salesman to show customers a 3D model of a car, its in-built features and interior, rather than just a series of pictures. So far, 110 South Korean GMI dealers have adopted the device.

Although the technology is only being given to car salesmen at present, it is hoped the app will eventually be rolled out to consumers, therefore allowing them to “download the showroom into their own homes”.

Holden & General Motors International executive director of marketing Mark Harland said: “Chevrolet has a long history of innovation in the automotive industry such as the first electrical starter and the first car radio. These technological advancements have been key to the brand evolution. But while automotive technology has evolved over the years, the car showroom experience has remained largely unchanged.

“We challenged Dentsu Aegis Network to create a solution that would position General Motors as an innovation leader in the automotive space. We are excited about V-Showroom and look forward to scaling this even further across other markets and with different models.”


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