VR case study: AUDI lets customers “Enter The Sandbox”

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Car brand Audi is encouraged people to return to being a kid in a sandbox with a new virtual reality project promoting its Q5 model.

AUDI - Enter The Sandbox VR Experience from Tobias "Tysken" Reiner on Vimeo.

Case study summary

• Audi creates VR experience in Norway emulating a drive in sandbox tracks

• Customers create a track then sit in a VR chair and don an Oculus Rift headset

• Campaign won Cannes Lions Cyber award

The challenge

The Enter Sandbox experience, developed by agency Pol in Norway and production company MediaMonks, started with the premise: wouldn't it be cool if you could drive a car in those road tracks you made in sandboxes as a kid?

The solutionThe experience, currently which ran running at Audi's flagship dealership in Oslo, is also designed to be taken on tour. It invited participants to enter a purpose-built sandpit and create a customised track. The sand was then carefully scanned by a depth-sensing camera, from which a virtual world is rendered.

To be able to capture every bump and curve, the sand is bombarded with short bursts of infrared light with over 200,000 measure points captured by the infrared camera. This data is then used to create a 3D model that informs the virtual environment.

Having built the track, drivers then sit in a VR chair and don an Oculus Rift headset to enter the virtual world they just created. The experience is designed to simulate a real-life drive in an Audi Q5, from feedback in the steering wheel, to the actual sounds of an Audi Q5. To find out more about how it was done take a look at the Making Of video here.

The results

The campaign was a huge success, generating plenty of earned media and social buzz, going on to win a cyber lion award at Cannes Lions festival 2017.

"For many of us, playing with cars in the sandpit is a distant memory. Let's face it, the opportunity rarely presents itself once you pass a certain age," said Tommy Jensen, marketing manager of Audi Norway in a statement. "The Sandbox 2.0 is a state-of-the-art toy for kids and adults. It provides a platform to rekindle the joys of driving and demonstrate the assets of the Q5 and the quattro technology in a playful and accessible way."

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