German automaker Mercedes has a new video-based iPad application that allows fans to experience the excitement of driving in a Formula One vehicle.
The app allows users to toggle a camera perched on top of multiple high-performance vehicles navigating the track with footage pulled from the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
As fans wait along the sidelines at events like Goodwood, they only see cars zoom by for small stretches, so the app fills in all that they miss.
“The app takes [the experience] a step further than the normal, passive forms of video or film playing, by being interactive and using the technology in the iPad to the best effect,” said Angus Fitton, public relations manager at Mercedes-benz, Leicester, Britain.
“Beyond that it allows us to use the film on Oculus Rift devices in our dealers, showrooms and at events that we support, to give people an even more immersive experience.”
Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset. Auto enthusiasts at racing events can put on the headset to experience, at least visually and aurally, what it’s like to drive a car around the track. Mr. Fitton noted that the brand employed Oculus Rift at Goodwood.
In the passenger’s seat
The “Goodwood FOS” app includes 11 interactive films arranged in a tile format. Featured vehicles include the 1937 Silver Arrow, the Sauber-Mercedes C9 and the SLS AMG Black Series.
When a vehicle is selected, the app travels to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. At first, users looking down at their iPad may be a bit confused. They will hear the car’s engine revving, but the footage may not seem appropriate.
The app allows for a 360-degree movement once the iPad is turned. When the iPad is adjusted the user will see two members holding the sides of the vehicle before the race begins. Then the vehicle takes off from the starting line and navigates the course. It will slow down for accelerating straightaways and turns. Each film lasts about one minute.
The ongoing race
Many other automakers have used driving footage for interactive content. Lincoln Motor Company is engaging social media followers with an interactive video for the 2015 Lincoln MKC.
The app Mercedes released will have applications beyond isolated downloads from fans. The brand will use Oculus Rift technology and intends to leverage the app at its many locations.
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