The Future of Mobile

BMW and Accenture Use Google's Tango to Create AR Experience

Tyrone Stewart

BMW i-series ARBMW has teamed with Accenture to use Google’s smartphone AR technology, Tango, to enable BMW customers to explore their ideal i3 or i8 models – as a real-size, interactive visualisation.

The BMW i Visualiser app is said to enable customers to configure, customise and walk around a BMW i3 and i8 before buying one. It gives them ways to open the doors, ‘enter’ the car, switch on the lights, adjust interior and exterior colours, and change wheel rims.

“In situations where the desired product isn’t available on the spot, this visualisation is the next best thing,” said Andrea Castronovo, BMW Group VP of sales strategy and future retail. “In our initial tests, we saw people ducking down when they were getting into the car, as if there really were [sic] a roof there for them to bang their heads on.”

The app will be piloted in a ‘double-digit number of sales outlets’ where product geniuses will provide customers with access to the experience. These selected outlets will be in the US, UK, Germany, China, Japan, and more.

Following the pilot, BMW intend to offer the app on the Play store so that customers with Tango-enabled devices can download and use it any time.

“Our research shows that consumers are seeking improved use of technologies like augmented reality during the car-buying process to make the online-offline experience more compelling,” said Christina Raab, managing director in Accenture’s Automotive practice. “BMW i’s use of Tango technology and its integration with sales outlets and existing configuration tools is helping create the seamless multichannel experience customers are seeking.”