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Audi localizes 3D car app for Hong Kong shoppers

Audi Hong Kong?s new augmented reality application enhances the car-shopping experience by enabling users to customize and share a photo of the car.

The app has been updated from an earlier version introduced by Audi Singapore earlier this year. In addition to localizing the content, the new app features an updated 3D model for a more realistic-looking car.

?You can sit in your living room, launch the app, and have a much better visual understanding and feel of the car with the 3D exterior and 360 panoramic interior photo,? said Szabolcs Budahazy, CEO and founder of ARworks. 

?And there is the additional advantage that the user can configure the car as well with the different colors and accessories - make and share a photo even with the car in front of his own garage,? he said. ?And you don't have to go some faraway places to find the next dealership.?

Audi worked with ARworks to localize the app for the Hong Kong market.

360-degree view
The app shows the new Audi A3 Sportback in 3D on a turntable, with users able to pick different colors for the car and spin it around to see the car from all sides.

Users can also see the interior of the car and find out about various features.

Additionally, users can share a photo of the car inserted in an image from their own photo gallery, such as a garage.

The app?s content has been localized to show a panoramic image of Hong Kong and local launch information. Since various car equipment, rims and colors are market specific, this information was updated as well.

The Audi Hong Kong app was launched earlier this month and was downloaded 7,000 times in the first eight days of its availability.

Planned purchases
Apps such as this are helping automakers ensure car-shoppers get an up-close and personal experience with their vehicles, something that used to only be possible by visiting a showroom.

Since many consumers have already made a decision by the time they reach a showroom, it makes sense for automakers to leverage augmented reality and mobile to provide a 3D experience that shoppers can review at their own leisure.

German automaker Audi has been leveraging augmented reality in multiple markets to provide a deeper understanding of the vehicle. For example, this summer it teamed up with Metaio for the A3 eKurzinfo app, which identifies facets of the A3 vehicle from the windshield wiper?s insignia to engine components and gives how-to information or virtual maintenance tutorials (see story).

Luxury shoppers are increasingly researching planned purchases while on the go via their smartphones, which is why an app such as this makes sense for Audi.

?There are statistics showing this trend is very strong,? Mr. Budahazy said.

?Of course they can visit the official web site of the brand, but it is often not mobile optimized and even if it is, it could not use the special features of the smartphone ? its camera, its gyroscope sometimes even its GPS,? he said. ?Only apps can do this.

?Augmented reality/3D apps add a very special visual experience.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York