The Audi showrooms will take its future customers to the moon with the Oculus Rift headsets and with a massive help from virtual technology.
As the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets are on sale and the VR medium has no rules marketwise, Audi is developing one based on how clients use the VR experience according to Marcus Kuehne, the leader of this futuristic project.
The German carmaker added a new X-ray effect that when a user leans their head into a car, the body panel becomes semitransparent, showing all the components underneath. This transparency effect was originally created to prevent images from being rendered incorrectly, but it soon turned out that people liked looking past the metal sheet.
At a conference hosted by chipmaker Nvidia Corp., Kuehne said that “To me, this is the essence of VR and one of the most important lessons we have learned. If you try to reproduce reality, people like it. But if you make things possible which are not possible in reality, that really excites people.” This is why shoppers will get to visualize the Audi models right on the moon by the end of this year.
Oculus was bought by Facebook back in 2014 for $2 billion and in the three-year period over which Audi has been using its services, computers have become more powerful. While three years ago a headset could deliver a video at 50 frames per second with a delay of 45 milliseconds, by the end of last year, 3-D images were rendered at 90 fph with 20 milliseconds of delay, which makes the virtual reality pretty accurate.
In a number of weeks, Audi will bring its headset to German dealers for live demonstrations. The consumers interested in these headsets have been on very long waiting lists. The pilot projects are set to start at the end of 2016 in flagship stores in towns like Berlin and London. While the German manufacturer did not announce its plans for the U.S., Manhattan looks like a very big possibility.
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