Live from Laval Virtual Day 1: R-Screen

Hi! I’m blogging from Laval Virtual, and as I type I can hear a virtual cat meowing. There’s lots of fun and crazy stuff going on over here, but today I wanted to highlight an “I spy” that I find particularly interesting for the automotive industry, and most importantly, car buyers like you and me.

R-Screen is a first-of-a-kind VR application allowing consumers to visit a car virtually, showroom style. What I mean is, rather than being in a VR cave or in front of a large, static immersive screen, you must physically walk around the virtual car to see it. Hint, there’s a pivoting screen involved, but you’ll understand better when you watch the video.

“So what?” you may be wondering, but consider the possibilities. Rather compact (3 x 2 meters), R-Screen could be used to:

  • Demo mobility concepts at shows without production. This provides OEMs an opportunity to save resources.
  • Showcase several cars in one spot. A different car, a different audience/day, same show floor real estate.
  • Try and buy new models before they’re in circulation. Want to get a feel for that new Renault model not yet available at the dealership near you? R-Screen lets you do this.
  • Test personalization options and features. You think you’ll like the model in red with an integrated GPS system? Well you may not once you pick up your new car. You can try on all kinds of options virtually before purchasing.

Here’s a little video so you too can take the tour:

Now I can’t help wondering . . . Imagine being at your favorite dealership near you. With an evolved version of the the R-Screen, you select a car body that best suits your personality and needs. Then you pick from a list of engines that fit within the body. Then interior options, etc. etc. You’ve designed a “My Car” that isn’t necessarily on the vendor list. When you’re satisfied, you click a button. Your choices synch with the PLM metadata, and someone on the production side clicks another button and your “My Car” gets made and shipped to the dealership. No more advance production, storing and shipping. And you get exactly what you want.

Perhaps I’m dreaming a little, but I see this as a possibility for future innovations. What do you think?

Let me know if you’re at Laval Virtual. I’d love to meet up with you!

More to come tomorrow . . .


P.S. R-Screen was made with several 3DVIA Virtools modules, including their VR pack. CLARTE came up with the concept and developed it, and Renault holds the patent.