New VW car features embrace mobile apps

Design

Over the last few years, we've seen some pretty amazing advancements in technology. Not only have we seen the development of new web browsers, even more impressive search engines and also a selection of social media platforms, but we've also witnessed a fairly rapid adoption of smartphone technology - and as a result of this, we've seen a number of mobile applications ('Apps') being developed and distributed.

The App market is now a huge market, with each app fulfilling a different purpose. They range from being a simple gaming platform to a complex augmented reality program which might take real information such as location and orientation, and apply that information to a digital representation of the world.

Today, I came across a rather interesting advert which has been created by Volkswagen to showcase 3 new features which they've introduced to their vehicles: lane assist, adaptive lights and cruise control. Without an app, these 3 features would be difficult to demonstrate to prospective customers without arranging a test drive. Of course, test drives need arranging and quite often, readers of magazines won't go as far as to call their local dealer just to check out a new feature. Through an app, everyone and anyone with an iPhone can see for themselves what these new developments look like and how the vehicles behave as a result.

Volkswagen produced a printed spread which was found in several Norwegian magazines. The spread featured a stretch of road through a winter and summer village scene. Readers were asked to download an app which allowed them to 'drive' the car through the scene by hovering their iPhones over the printed road.

Whilst testing the lane assist feature, the reader would experience a vibration whenever they 'drove' the car towards the side of the road, effectively warning them of impending danger. With the adaptive lights system, readers could witness the headlights on the car 'follow' the bend as the car began to turn around the corner. Finally, with the cruise control system, readers would be kept at a steady speed and at a constant distance from the vehicle in-front of them.

To be able to showcase such features via a simple application is so impressive. The app shows you exactly how the new cars behave and as a result, might even tempt you into arranging that test drive after all. I can't help but think the magazine spread should feature a QR code to make it even easier to download the app!

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