Infiniti’s Interactive Film “Deja-View”

Luxury auto maker Infiniti has partnered with The Blair Witch Project’s producers, Campfire, to release an eerie choose-your-own-adventure interactive movie called Deja-View.

The 20 minute film centers on a well-groomed couple driving on a desert road in their Infiniti Q50. They seem like a pair, but ultimately, they’re unsure of who and where they are, whom to trust and where they’re supposed to be going. By dialing a special number and code on their cellphones and actually “talking to” the characters (using technology such as natural language processing systems), viewers will be able to affect the characters’ choices and help them work out what’s going on. The outcome of the movie will be tailored to their choices.

(Via Creativity-Online)

Why I’m Curious

This is an innovative application of branded entertainment. It’s neat that the film uses language processing technology to adapt to the viewer, depending on their conversations with the onscreen characters. The choose-your-own-adventure model creates an interactive element that viewers are invested in, while incorporating various digital platforms, including websites and smartphones, to tell the story.


The World’s First Attention-Powered Car

To raise awareness about the the dangers of driving while distracted, RAC, an Australian roadside services company, has created the “Attention Powered Car”.

The test car slows when drivers are distracted and then starts accelerating again when they begin paying attention. The car works with a headset designed by neuroengineering company Emotiv that measures the driver’s brain signals. The headset tracks blink rate, blink duration, gaze rate, head tilts and how often drivers switch tasks. An algorithm then uses this data to determine whether the driver is paying attention.

Why I’m Curious

I think this is a neat, innovative use of electroencephalography (EEG) and other mechanical technologies. Although it’s just a test car for now, I this could be an effective way to bring attention to the problem of being distracted while driving. People often use their phones while driving, even though doing so is illegal in many places, and we know this inattentiveness in increasingly causing more auto accidents. It will be interesting to see if this type of car makes its way to market.

Volkswagen Banner Challenge

Volkswagen Netherlands has created an online campaign called GTI Bannerbahn that connects paid banner ad space with the real world by challenging the online user to catch a moving Volkswagen Golf GTI.

GTI BannerBahn is a circuit race across banner ads on Holland’s four biggest websites. The home pages of these four websites were painted on the runway of an airport. A Volkswagen Golf GTI was then filmed as it zig-zagged across the runway. On race day, September 13, participants will be chasing the GTI as it speeds through the banner spaces of each site. The fastest person to catch the GTI wins the car in real life.

Why I’m Curious

I think this is a neat bridging of the digital and real worlds that encourages users to interact with banner ads in an innovative way. I’m also intrigued by how the team used radio-powered drones to create video streams that will match the player’s viewing experience on the banner ad.

Audi’s Augmented Reality Car Manual

Audi has created a replacement manual for their A3 in the form of an augmented reality app called eKurzinfo.

eKurzinfo covers over 300 different elements of the car, all of which can be easily identified with the iPhone’s camera. In addition to identifying various parts of the car, the app can help owners learn how to fix them as well. For example, if the engine is overheating and the warning symbol comes on inside the car, you can scan it with the app to find out how to deal with the problem, which may be as simple as topping up the coolant.

Why I’m Curious

We’ve been seeing a lot of augmented reality applications over time and many of them are purely for entertainment purposes. I thinks it’s great that the automotive industry is adopting this technology to offer practical functionality to its customers.

Lexus creates stop-motion film with fans’ Instagram images

Lexus is targeting younger motorists with an Instagram-driven campaign that incorporates images from more than 200 users, #LexusInstaFilm. The combined effort produces a stop-motion film of the 2014 IS model from various angles and tones.


  • Under the orchestration of a directorial team during Instagram’s #WorldwideInstameet, car enthusiasts and Intagram users from a variety of background blended their personalities in a film that colorfully animates the IS.
  • Jacob Rosenberg and the Bandito Brothers directed the film that features the song “Hefe” by The Hit House.
  • A 2014 Lexus IS F Sport weaved throughout the lot to permit a wide range of views and so the vehicle appeared in a natural setting.
  • Marks were drawn on the grounds to instruct people on where to stand and at what angle to take shots of the vehicle.
  • Participants could edit the shots however they wanted. The directorial team then printed out each still, clipped them to a huge board and sequenced them to create a coherent film.

Read more here.

Why I am Curious 

An interesting way to tap into a proven-performing formula:

passion-driven experiences + mobile + empowerment = UCG & community building

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 10.30.36 AM

Fostering community among fans is a good way for luxury brands to create loyalty, since the ensuing friendships will be tinged by the brand’s image.

Seat Surprise Taxi Fare

Seat’s “Brake Energy Recovery System” collects energy usually lost when a car brakes and uses this energy when it accelerates again (creating significant fuel savings for owners). To illustrate this product benefit, Grey showed the cost impact via cabs/cab fare to unsuspecting passengers.

Why I’m Curious: When in doubt, show don’t tell. This is a very tangible way of illustrating a product benefit and if there was a way to socially share this experience, it would be an even stronger idea.

Road Trains – Welcome to the Future

By Mai

For the first time ever, a trio of autonomous Volvo vehicles have successfully followed a Volvo heavy-duty truck through Barcelona traffic. A professional driver piloted the truck while the other three cars utilized cameras; radar and laser sensors to monitor the lead vehicle as well as the surrounding traffic. The road trains were able to travel at speeds up to 53 mph.

Why I’m Curious
1) What will future of transportation look like?
2) More time to consume, more advertising.
3) Did Wall-E predict a not too distant future?

The 5th Screen

TV, computer, mobile, tablet…. Car infotainment.  The evolving 5th screen of our lives.  With the advancement in technology that automakers are bringing to cars, this seems to be an area that is going to continue to develop.  But, to what extent?  Think of what people are already able to do with those screens:

  • Get turn-by-turn navigation
  • Find a restaurant, gas station, place to eat
  • Watch a movie/listen to music
  • Play a video game
  • Make a phone call
  • Use built-in apps
  • Automatically send status updates to your mechanic

If I posted that list of things without the first paragraph, would you have thought I was talking about your car, or the latest smartphone?  Many modern cars now come with USB connections, big hardrives, and built-in wireless connectivity.  And what about that connectivity?  You can already start your car remotely with your smartphone.  Zip Car has an app that lets you reserve, unlock, and drive away with your rental car.  So, they’re now connected to Is there anything missing?

It seems to me our cars have as much, if not more functionality built in as any of our other devices.

Why I’m Curious

How far will the automakers, and lawmakers let this 5th screen go? What about the after market… and hackers?  How long until our cars become as truly connected as our other devices.  How long until they get viruses?  Or have they already?

Toytoyota Makes Driving a Family Event


Toytoyota launched Backseat Driver, an iPhone app that lets children in the backseat drive a virtual car that follows the route of the real car they’re riding in. The app is connected to the vehicle’s GPS, allowing the cartoon car to follow the same route the actual car is traveling on. Other than driving a virtual car, users will see virtual versions of landmarks that the actual vehicle is passing, and as users pick up earn points for picking up different items, they can customize their virtual car.

Why I’m Curious

“Backseat Driver” makes driving an activity that engages the entire family, not just the driver. The virtual landmarks and car gives kids an opportunity to become more connected to the route their parents are taking. For parents, it’s easy to be pleased with this app because it keeps kids quiet on long drives. But on a greater scale, “Backseat Driver” gives children a first glimpse of how great having or driving a Toyota is. Even as a virtual car, they are left with a good impression of the brand and when they are able to choose their own cars, it would be easy to refer back to a pleasant memory they had with Toyota.