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There are seemingly limitless ways Augmented Reality can bring value to a variety of different industries. From interactive maintenance instructions to engaging sales and marketing campaigns, AR brings innovation to it all. We are excited to share how Visionaries 777, a design and engineering AR/VR agency, used Unity and Vuforia Engine to deliver a compelling AR auto experience. Using digital designs overlaid on physical cars, app users can now uniquely customize their Lykan Hypersport before purchase. This post will discuss how they built their experiences and why it was a hit.

Vuforia Engine makes placing AR content in an environment easy and versatile with its wide range of target options – with their newest release enhancing the popular Model Target feature. Model Targets, unlike image targets and QR-Codes, enable developers to place an AR experience on a physical object by using a 3D CAD model.

Visionaries 777 put Vuforia Model Targets and Unity to the test with W Motors Lykan Hypersport. Using Unity and Vuforia Engine Model Targets, they created an application to change the outer colors and details of the vehicle. This application was used at car shows around the world to allow people to customize the Lykan with their choice of colors and decals.

The ability to constantly and accurately track the car allows seamless visual effects to be created. The app offers a scenario in which the viewer’s imagination comes to life when creating their dream vehicle. The physical car is flawlessly layered with the new digitized car paint, reflecting the physical environment and surrounding light. The app further enables the user to digitally apply vinyl all around the body represented as racing stripes, graphics, and logos.

Get more details by checking out our Unite session to learn how Visionaries 777 used Unity and Vuforia Engine to build their AR experience.

“We started working on AR 8 years ago with traditional fiducial markers, and closely followed the evolution of tracking algorithms. Vuforia Model Targets is a game changer that many developers have been eagerly waiting for quite some time. Vuforia Engine has enabled us to take AR beyond a gimmick and create compelling solutions for the enterprise world.”

Frantz Lasorne, Co-Founder of Visionaries 777 Ltd.

Vuforia Engine 8.0, released this January, expands the possibilities for Model Targets. This newest version provides the option to train Model Targets using deep neural networks (DNNs) for instant, automatic object recognition. Once the Model Target of an object or objects has been trained with multiple viewpoints, the information is used to not only identify what object you have in front of you, but what angle you are viewing it from. The application will then provide a guideline that most closely matches with the user’s angle to snap to the AR experience.

Vuforia Engine’s Model Target Generator

In an automotive setting, a user would need to simply start the application, point the device camera at a car, and Vuforia Engine would recognize the vehicle and provide a guide view matching the angle they’re seeing and then snap to the object. From automobile service instructions to luxury car marketing details, this technology offers new, dynamic ways to use AR.

Unity and Vuforia Engine provide AR solutions that are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible by placing AR overlays on physical models while accounting for lighting and other environmental factors. Plus, by building AR auto applications using the Vuforia Engine and Unity, you can build once and deploy across multiple platforms, letting you reach the widest possible audience in less time.

Learn more about our solutions for the automotive and transportation industry here. And learn more about the newest version of Model Targets or Vuforia Engine, at our Vuforia Partner page.

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  1. Was trying something similar with a different project — need to recognize multiple smaller objects of a larger assembly; the trouble is a few of my pieces have different states and are not static so that some small aspect of it might not align with a 3d model target; trying to get tensorflow image recognition to trigger instead.

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  3. R. _>
    Very good post. I am in the same industry and can agree in parts. However, this is about model recognition – not only cars. And not only customization.
    This could be used in museums for any kind of sculptures. Or for toys. Or whatever.

    Main point is really the amount of work, learning and costs (hardware) for developers, clients and end customers. Furthermore everything is outdated rather quickly (my daughter just figured that my 2011 17# Macbook Pro s Safari Version cannot use youtube any more).
    And i doubt that manufactures all over the world will create digital models of their products to be displayed not only in AR but on the web etc. 95% cannot afford that.

    Still appreciating the possibility.

  4. Hey

    I am in the car industry for 10 years, and in the mobile app and 3D industries for 15 years.

    It will not work. It is a nice tech showcase, but the end customers, the end users will not use it in their daily life.

    We had similar projects running many times. Bear in mind that Unity is compared to the car industry tiny. It means that the car industry has a different perspective and other long term goals on what sells.

    In my experience AR, VR and stereo 3D projects are all the same. Engineers and designers get excited about new tech, they create great prototypes, yet the end users do not want it. But why? For one, because it is just a graphical representation. And secondly, they need extra devices for it.

    Think how you buy cars or houses. Would you buy a house based on some AR/VR experience? Of course not, unless you are stupid and inexperienced. Once you “configured” a car online, you want to see it for yourself. If you have doubts how the colors will look on your machine, or the tools and details, you want to see it in the store first — even some probe material. Why? Because it is an expensive investment, and because so far you’ve seen just graphical representations of the product. The furniture industry has the same AR/VR issues, as well as architecture and real estate, in my professional experience.

    The graphical representation issue is interesting and something we figured in the long term. Such AR/VR toys work better in a video game, because the whole video game is an illusion and a graphic representation, right? But once you combine AR/VR with expensive investments in real-life — the same users behave cautious, with only two exceptions: either they are rich and inexperienced and stupid. The latter is the reason why all AR/VR failed that I’ve seen so far.

    By the way, it is not true that most car configurators base on pre-rendered images. There are plenty of examples where they offer real 3D models. But there again, most if not all users want a test drive, a test check, the fancier the configurator and the configuration they’ve picked.

    That is why, in my experience, there will be never an AR/VR car shop experience in the mainstream car industry that everybody loves. Why? For the same reasons stereo 3D was hot for a while and in the end the casual, the common users did not use and want it. A single AR video game such as Pokemon GO (and thousands of failed AR games) is not a proof of concept, at least not for the car industry.

    Recently we postponed the release of a new car model of the biggest car manufacturer in the world. We had to do it due to some digital issues of the actual car electronic devices, that are not worth mentioning here. How much did it cost? A few billions. Just like that. Because the long term quality and user/driver experience is far more important. It hopefully is a reminder how a car manufacturer decides upon AR/VR, and what is hot and what will become hot in his eyes, and why. In my opinion, currently, there are many super hot digital/IT/tech projects in the car industry. If you can, grab you stuff and jump on the train for as long it is hot, because it will likely cool down in 10 years. But AR/VR plays is not a part of it for the next 20-30 years, except for some presentations for journalists or blogs, of course.

    1. I don’t know what you are talking about. People are buying houses and cars all the time without seeing the real product.
      Thousands of buyers pre-ordered the Tesla 3 or the Audi e-tron without having the real thing in front of them.
      I just bought a house, and the only think I could look at were blueprints and an empty lot where the house will be in 10 months.
      I would have loved to walk through an AR/VR version of the house before making the offer.

    2. You are missing the point