W+K Lodge’s Oculus Rift Chrysler Experience Takes People Even Deeper Inside

chryslerlodgeIn order to build the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200, the Chrysler brand went back to the drawing board and rebuilt everything—even the factory that makes it.

Earlier this year W+K launched the Chrysler 200 Factory Tour, a first-of-its-kind interactive experience that allowed consumers to journey inside the 5 million square ft. Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) behind the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200. Their reasoning? You can read the reviews online. You can look under the hood and you can take it for a test drive. But if you really want to research a car, you have to look beneath the surface of the car.

But for this season’s auto shows, we wanted to let people go even deeper, and the W+K Lodge discovered a perfect way to do just that.

The creative concept started with the Chrysler 200 Factory Tour, which features factory tours using Google Streetview.

“We had the story from the site, starting from the beginning with the car and factory,” said Lodge experience designer Tera Hatfield. “But for this season’s auto shows, we wanted to do something very different–from an experience standpoint, what hasn’t been tried yet?”

Plenty of demos at car shows these days will let you test drive a car in virtual reality. But if the quality of a car begins beneath the surface, in the factory that builds it, why not let people have access to that?

“We had 360 degree camera views for that experience, so it was a natural leap to VR,” said Lodge developer Michael Latzoni. “Oculus technology gave us a way to not only let people experience and interact with the car in a way that’s never been done before, but also give them a glimpse into the factory as the car is being built.”

“Beneath the Surface” is a four-minute, 4D-immersive experience using the Oculus Rift DK2 headset to highlight how the vehicle is made.

The scene opens with a life-like rendering of the Chrysler 200 interior and explodes to show the beautiful anatomy of the car while the user has a few moments to look around from the driver’s seat. With the user viewing the experience from inside the 200, the audio-visual tour highlights three aspects of the building process within the plant, including the Body Shop, the Paint Shop, and the Metrology Center.

“We’re not trying to simulate a real experience like a test drive, we’re leveraging the technology to create something that otherwise could never happen in real life,” Hatfield said. “We wanted the expectation to be–are we gonna drive around?–and then it’s the blow apart. That element of surprise was very important.”

“We wanted to use the best technology to tell the story,” Latzoni added. “It was important that the technology work for the story, not to build something just because using the Oculus Rift is cool.”

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