2017 was certainly a year that was instrumental in the development of augmented reality (AR) technology, whether that was through headsets and smart glasses like HoloLens and Vuzix, or software such as Google’s ARCore and ARKit by Apple. This helped developers create new AR videogames as well as more functional apps. The automobile industry has embraced the rise of AR by creating interactive manuals, the latest of which comes from Mercedes-Benz.
The company has built an AR app called Ask Mercedes, allowing customers with an Apple iPhone or iPad to learn more about their new car. The app works with the 2018 E-Class Mercedes-Benz (all body styles, non-AMG), with users having to align an image on their device with the interior of the vehicle. After which they’ll be able to see a selection of numbers automatically superimposed onto the controls and displays shown in the camera image. Clicking on a number will then bring up the relevant information.
“We are creating a personalised customer experience that goes well beyond the vehicle. With innovative services such as ‘Ask Mercedes’, we are further expanding our digital ecosystem”, says Britta Seeger, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales in a statement.
The app has been launched in the US, South Africa and Malaysia initially. At the start of 2018 it is scheduled to be introduced in India and Hong Kong, with a version in German to follow later in the year. Mercedes-Benz has said it’s also working on an Android version of the app which should become available this year. Additionally, Ask Mercedes is expected to be gradually expanded in the coming months, with support for further vehicle models, content and communication channels envisaged.
Ask Mercedes may showcase updated AR technology for car manuals but it’s certainly not the first. One of the earliest examples VRFocus covered was Hyundai back in 2015. As AR is further embraced by car manufacturers worldwide, VRFocus will keep you updated on the latest developments.