During a press event at MILK Studios in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jaguar announced its new, fully electric SUV I-PACE concept car with a social VR experience that let groups of 66 attendees interact with the new model and each other. The experience was created in a partnership between Jaguar and Imagination Agency, with HTC providing Vive headsets and Dell supplying the NVIDIA GTX 1080 powered workstations.
Attendees were seated around tables, holding six people each, and provided with their own Vive VR headset. Each person inside the VR experience was represented by a glowing headset, which served as their avatar and allowed people to be individually identified and interact with one another throughout. Jaguar’s designer, who appeared through a live video feed, ran through the I-PACE’s components and the process behind their design.
VR participants could fully interact with objects as they were spoken about, and were also able to switch viewpoints through use of the Vive’s trigger button. A finished prototype of the vehicle could be looked inside in VR, giving users a full tour of how the electric car will look like when it’s released in mid-2018. And, as a final surprise, Jaguar had snuck the only actual concept car into the room, letting attendees get a real-life view after removing their VR headsets.
The I-PACE VR experience can also be accessed remotely via Viveport. Ian Callum, Director of Design at Jaguar said, “We have only one concept car and it is in LA for the reveal. For the first time, VR has allowed us to share it across the globe in the most immersive way possible.”
Jaguar’s I-PACE launch will have a big impact on the VR, automotive and marketing industries. VR technology allowed the company to give a level of engagement and immersion with their new product that could not be had without it. Thus, we can expect to see similar events from other companies in the future.