When Magna International faced the prospect of debuting its new electric truck to a remote, virtual audience at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), it seized the opportunity to make the most of the show’s all-digital format. The Canadian automotive technology firm had plenty of exciting developments to share and got to work on a virtual truck experience that would immerse attendees in its products and technologies more than ever before.
The photorealistic virtual vehicle Magna created allowed visitors to its virtual online booth to rotate and view the vehicle from any angle, then “step” inside to experience the cabin. Visitors could even “fly” into the vehicle’s mechanics to examine systems hidden from view or inaccessible in a physical truck.
Magna’s virtual truck experience was made possible thanks to an emerging open standard asset format called GL Transmission Format (glTF) and sophisticated marketing asset creation software from Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXCITE brand for virtual marketing. Together, glTF and 3DEXCITE allow marketers to create rich 3D material directly from the design and engineering source data and share it on any platform, even a mobile phone.
Trade show exhibitors like Magna aren’t the only forward-thinking marketers using the technology; Deutsche Messe, organizer of the world-famous Hannover Messe trade show, has added glTF creation and presentation capabilities to the list of services it offers to its exhibitors.
The rise of virtual marketing
In a world of customized products and almost infinite choice, it’s not feasible or commercially viable for most companies to physically build protypes that feature every product variation.
“We were really looking for a platform that could offer a similar impact to a physical environment and help increase our reach digitally,” Darrin Hill, director of marketing for R&D and intelligence at Magna, told Compass magazine. “Along the way we realized that this was the first time we’ve been able to demonstrate the complete power of Magna in an intuitive and manageable way.”
3DEXCITE on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform enables innovative businesses, including PSA Group and Zuri, to create interactive 3D digital assets prospects can use to view, zoom in or out, configure and test their own personalized product. And, unlike a standard marketing video, customers can get far more “hands on” as they explore the features that interest them most – rather than the ones marketers think should interest them.
Help creating digital marketing assets
Deutsche Messe recognizes how virtual reality tools can increase the value it offers to exhibitors. Through a partnership with 3DEXCITE, Deutsche Messe’s Media Factory now offers glTF production services. This gives exhibitors access to the tools they need to create effective digital marketing assets and enhance their presence at physical tradeshows.
“Our future is undoubtedly hybrid events, where we fuse the physical with the digital,” Thomas Rilke, managing director at Deutsche Messe Technology Academy, told Compass magazine. “Through our Media Factory, we will be able to ensure that more of our customers are equipped to succeed in this new reality.”
Deutsche Messe Technology Academy is also working with customers to create 3D digital marketing assets for inventions that don’t yet exist. For example, German manufacturing and engineering institute Fraunhofer IPA used 3DEXCITE to create a virtual version of its mobile lab robot KEVIN, which is designed to automate repetitive, manual laboratory work. Rather than waiting for KEVIN to be built, prospective clients can test all the robot’s capabilities virtually, as if they’re in the same room together.
Read the full story here to discover more about how Fraunhofer IPA, Deutsche Messe and Magna are creating realistic virtual marketing assets with 3DEXCITE and glTF. You can also hear from two industry executives, Thomas Rilke of the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy and Tom Acland of Dassault Systèmes 3DEXCITE, on the potential impact of glTF on the future of marketing.