Animating In-Vehicle Sound
Panasonic Automotive CES 2019

At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, Panasonic Automotive wanted to demonstrate to VIP guests and potential partners how its audio systems technology integrates into customers’ vehicles and improves the overall driving experience. ICON Interactive told this story through 3D animated holograms projected via a mixed-reality display. The result was a cutting-edge showcase that not only enthralled viewers but also fueled conversations around the bright future of in-vehicle sound solutions.

IMPROVING CUSTOMERS DRIVING EXPERIENCES

When the team at Panasonic Automotive reached out to ICON about putting together a private room showcase for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), ICON knew no simple display would cut it. CES is where many of the world’s greatest innovators stand shoulder to shoulder. A brand as future-focused as Panasonic needed a display capable of reflecting that.

The project goal was to show how Panasonic’s advanced audio systems are integrated into vehicles and improve customers’ driving experiences by delivering concert-hall quality sound. The experience had to convey a host of information in a way that would be engaging to watch but understandable at a glance. The physical display itself also had to fit quickly and seamlessly into the client’s show footprint.

THE SOLUTION

If Panasonic Automotive had its eyes on the future of technology, then so, too, did ICON. The idea to use holograms stemmed from the desire to create a strictly visual, entirely self-guided experience that would be as intuitive to viewers as the client’s tech was to drivers. The hologram technology would serve to push the display to the next level and bring a serious wow factor to the overall presentation.

For visuals, the team created a series of 3D animations. Renders included the various audio system components and a selection of vehicles they were a part of. The team overlaid the components atop the vehicle interiors to visually convey where the components were located and how they worked together to create an ideal auditory experience. These animations were paired with concise headlines, which highlighted key features and messaging while still allowing the visuals to do most of the talking.

Keeping the client’s logistic requirements in mind, the ICON team took a look at the various types of mixed-reality hardware currently available on the market before landing on the DeepFrame One. Developed by the mixed-reality experts at Realfiction, the DeepFrame One is a freestanding display that uses a screen and a curved lens to layer projected content over physical space. All viewers have to do is walk up to the lens and watch as animations of every size and shape appear to interact with their real world in real time.

Using a fixed piece of hardware like the DeepFrame One allowed the ICON team to send over all specifications regarding space and electricity in preparation for the show. The hardware also came ready-to-assemble—perfect for the quick setup and easy integration the client team was looking for.

THE RESULTS

The benefits of using mixed-reality in lieu of VR, or even a traditional display, were multifold. The holographic technology on its own instantly drew visitors in, eliciting reactions as well as a level of engagement with the content that would not have been possible through static imagery. The lack of required headwear, like VR goggles, also allowed for a greater deal of freedom. Multiple guests could view the animations at a time, without the assistance of guides or handlers, and the DeepFrame One’s unique design maintained consistent image visibility at a range of angles and distances.

In the end, the client was wowed by the experience, with the executive team commenting on how powerful a conversation starter it was.