Chicago Auto Show Attendees Get a First-Hand Experience of the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Concept


nissan pathfinder (select to view enlarged photo)

FYI: Nissan Buyer's Guide

CHICAGO--February 10, 2012: Following the reveal of the 2013 Pathfinder Concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit last month, Omnicom digital agency Critical Mass (www.criticalmass.com) is set to debut a fully immersive experience of the vehicle's interior at the Chicago Auto Show on February 8-19--fueled by an innovative use of Microsoft's Kinect for Windows technology.

“Kinect allows us to engage consumers, not just from a marketing, but a human level--giving them the ability to immerse themselves and explore a vehicle that isn't actually on the show floor.”

In creating the First Person Pathfinder Experience, Critical Mass sought to deliver a virtual tour of the car's interior that highlights key features of the vehicle while emulating the interaction between customer and car in a showroom environment. The agency worked closely with UX design and engineering firm IdentityMine, who developed the human gesture enabled application experience leveraging their real-time 3D runtime engine and Kinect for Windows SDK. "This was a highly collaborative effort and an incredible opportunity to utilize Microsoft's Kinect technology in an unprecedented way," said Amanda Levy, Senior Vice President, Group Director, Critical Mass. "Kinect allows us to engage consumers, not just from a marketing, but a human level--giving them the ability to immerse themselves and explore a vehicle that isn't actually on the show floor."

Added Erich Marx, Director, Website & Social Media Marketing for Nissan North America, "People come to the Auto Show to be 'wowed'--to touch, see and feel new products. While we do have a Pathfinder Concept, the interior has not yet been revealed. We worked closely with our partners to develop an innovative solution that leverages technology to bridge the gap between the concept and consumers' experience of the car. We're effectively giving this captive audience of auto enthusiasts the ability to virtually step inside a 2013 Pathfinder," Marx said.

Key to the experience is the unprecedented use of Microsoft's Kinect for Windows technology. Leveraging brand new Kinect for Windows sensors and one of the first commercial applications of Kinect for Windows SDK, the First Person Pathfinder Experience ups the ante on controller-free, gesture-based digital experiences used in the automotive space. Rather than the hand gestures and swiping motions typically associated with Kinect, the Pathfinder experience closely tracks human gestures so full-body movements such as walking around the car, bending down to inspect the wheels, and even getting into the vehicle, are fluid and natural. In addition, multiple Kinect for Windows devices have been employed to create an unparalleled user experience of the Pathfinder.

Mark Brown, CEO, IdentityMine, explains, "The addition of Kinect for Windows literally transforms the way people engage and interact with computers using natural input including voice and physical body movements. This virtual showroom experience promises to elevate and enable a new breed of vehicle simulation experiences that will allow design concepts to be explored virtually--even before the car is in production."

Building on the immersive "first person" experiences that Critical Mass has created for a range of Nissan brands, including 360 digital experiences for Versa and GT Academy, the agency sees the Pathfinder-Kinect Experience as the next step to deepening engagement with consumers through technology. "The Nissan brand stands for innovation and they're constantly challenging us to create digital experiences that push the envelope. As far as we're concerned, this effort for the Auto Show only scratches the surface of where we'll be able to take this kind of experiential marketing," said Amanda Levy, Senior Vice President, Group Director, Critical Mass.

About Critical Mass

Critical Mass (Critical Mass), an Omnicom digital marketing agency, helps the world's leading companies use digital media to create extraordinary experiences--experiences that bring together creative thinking, smart ideas and emerging technologies to drive our clients' businesses. An award-winning agency consistently recognized as a leader in the digital marketing arena, Critical Mass operates globally from offices in Calgary, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Nashville, London, Amsterdam and Costa Rica. Critical Mass is a unit of Star Marketing Group (Star Marketing Group). For additional information, visit our website: www.criticalmass.com, our blog: http://experiencematters.criticalmass.com, www.facebook.com/criticalmass.agency or follow us on twitter: @criticalmass.

About IdentityMine

IdentityMine (Identity Mine) is a leading UX design and engineering firm at the forefront of innovation creating immersive and engaging real-time 3D application experiences for the Microsoft Windows and Xbox platforms. Based in the Seattle area, IdentityMine has offices in the US, India and Switzerland.

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