There’s no going back from virtual reality as Honda pioneers a new level of dealership engagement

Honda has high hopes for the all-new 2018 Accord, so it’s taking the car’s dealership experience to a whole new level with a new feature called HondaLens. The augmented reality (AR) feature puts prospective customers in a unique position of seeing the Accord and its features in a whole new light, literally and figuratively. The proprietary system made its debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show in grand fashion. Those in attendance were given an opportunity to peak into the history of one of Honda’s best-selling models before diving deep into the array of features that the tenth-generation Accord has at its disposal.

HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience
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The HondaLens feature allows users to view six hidden stories about the car that they can discover by walking around the car

This is something to look forward to. I’ve been exposed to augmented reality before, but not in this kind of presentation. It’s good that Honda is taking advantage of the budding technology to present a new way of dealership engagement for its customers. It’s one thing to get the usual schtick from sales agents; it’s another thing to wear Microsoft’s HoloLens reality smart glass and have the stories of the Honda Accord brought before your eyes in ways that we only used to see in Hollywood.

According to Honda, the HondaLens feature allows users to view six hidden stories about the car that they can discover by walking around the car. Way-finding arrows and voice-over instructions are included in the presentation to make it easier for a customer to engage himself into the augmented reality that’s flashing before his eyes. Ever seen a hologram version of the Accord’s new turbocharged engine floating out of the hood? HondaLens can do that. There’s even a feature that puts a customer in the driver’s seat, and he experiences simulated traffic scenarios that are projected through the windshield. Move to the passenger seat, and the AR presentation turns to the various tech features that the all-new Accord is carrying. Pretty cool, right?

HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience
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What’s unclear at this point is Honda’s plans for HondaLens after the LA Auto Show.

What’s unclear at this point is Honda’s plans for HondaLens after the LA Auto Show. It’d be cool to find this feature in its dealerships in the near future, but I won’t hang my hat on that happening anytime soon. I do hope it becomes available sooner than later. The quicker we get HondaLens into dealerships, the quicker it would be for us to appreciate the technology and what it’s all about.

References

Honda Accord

2018 Honda Accord High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Honda Accord.

2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide
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Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

Press release

Debuting at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the HondaLens™ experience utilizes the power of augmented reality (AR) to walk users through the history of the Honda Accord and to highlight prominent features of the all-new 10th-generation Accord.

The digital world produced for Honda and created by Spinifex Group and George P. Johnson is viewable using the Microsoft HoloLens™ and reveals six hidden stories that users activate by walking around the vehicle. Wayfinding arrows and voiceover instructions guide users on where to walk and how to interact.

Using AR in this way allows the user to experience the actual vehicle in the storytelling process. In one example, when users are sitting in the driver’s seat they experience different traffic scenarios that are simulated through the windshield in front of them.

In another instance, a hologram version of the new turbocharged engine floats out of the hood to show how the turbocharger works. Placing users back into the vehicle, this time in the passenger seat, beautiful swirling shapes guide users gaze around the interior to highlight new technology features.

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Press release
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