Nowhere is AV shaping the future of showrooms more than in the automobile industry.
But the growth of AV tech to enhance automobile showrooms is growing exponentially as companies like Toyota, Volkswagen, and others use AV to enhance the buying experience in the dealership—and even well before customers step foot in the showroom.
What do AV Integrators need to know about the latest trends for building out the AV showrooms for the future? Let’s take a look.
As an AV integrator, what should you be prepared to deliver? The big question for integrators going into such a project is scope. Are you set to handle everything from initial design to installation and ongoing support?
One example of design incorporates both static and interactive screens, a curved LED wall, as well as more conventional video walls. The SEAT project in London is well worth describing in some detail.
To deliver a relaxed but engaging customer experience in the heart of London, the design focused on creating a Barcelona vibe—the city where SEAT began—along with integrated technology touchpoints.
For instance, the installation used an array of projectors to project a unified image on a bespoke, curved LED wall. In addition to the large video wall at the rear of the store, another large custom LED wall was set above the storefront. The showroom design also includes four 46in screens dotted throughout the store.
Information, inspiration, and interactivity are blended into the design to create a customer experience as dynamic as possible. Ambient lighting was accounted for and projectors adjusted to create the atmosphere and information SEAT wanted to share with showroom visitors.
Volkswagen has also garnered some attention for a unique AV project. For this project, the focus was on a unique fleet of touchscreens.
These screens are notable for their incredibly thin profile. For their project, Volkswagon chose a system that can be used in a showroom or on location with a kiosk experience that can bring all the information about a car to the potential buyer’s fingertips.
Along with the ultra-thin screen, intergrators added a layer of touch sensors that can be used on either side of the kiosk, for a total width of 40mm. The feedback regarding the ultra thin screens has been very positive. The fact that it is so thin and touchscreen-enabled on both sides has been a surprise to users.
While this technological “wow” factor definitely has a shelf-life, the touchscreen experience, in general, is just getting started. The potential use-cases for this kind of display are nearly limitless.
But what about the experience before you ever get to the showroom? We all know that all shopping begins online, long before a trip to the showroom is even considered.
With that in mind, Toyota is creating some pretty amazing augmented reality experiences. Increasingly, AV pros need to understand and be a part of the process to coordinate the end-user experience from start to finish: from a handheld device in a living room or on a commute, to customers entering that immersive showroom experience.
Using transformative 3D and AR technology, Toyota’s immersive AR experience takes the user on a virtual browse around the exteriors of 10 different car models. The company believes this AR experience (done without the need to download an app) will create an experience better than the current video or imagery alone can do. Toyota’s immersive AR experience is the equivalent of allowing a customer to experience virtual reality without the heavy goggles. The experience allows customers the ability to place an AR car in your very real home.
Toyota wants you to get a feel for what the vehicle will be like in a variety of environments. From your driveway to your office to the garage. Potential buyers can rotate and explore to understand all features and what owning the car would feel like.
AV tech is making the auto showroom experience something much more than listening to muzak and knocking over a poster-stand while standing under a barrage fluorescent light. It is helping car buyers experience cars even before they get to the showroom, and once they are there, delivering an experience that tells them everything they need to know about owning that vehicle.