Jaguar launches virtual reality experience to mark return to racing

Jaguar launches virtual reality experience to mark return to racing
Rachael Power is an editor at TechForge Media, writing about marketing tech, connected cars and virtual reality. She has written for a number of online and print titles including the Irish Times, Irish Examiner, accountingWEB and BusinessZone. Rachael has a passion for digital marketing, journalism, gaming and fitness, and is on Twitter at: @rachpower10.

(c)REWIND/Jaguar 

One of the things we love about virtual reality is its ability to bring people on any adventure in the world and have it feel realistic, despite your budget or mobility.

A recent experience from creative production agency Rewind has taken that one step further. It's partnered with Jaguar to create a 4D experience, where people can take a realistic trip in a high-speed challenge through famous street circuits that Formula E will visit in season 3: Prais, Hong Kong and New York.

The four-minute experience was launched at the Paris Motor Show last week, and incorporated HTC Vive headsets with physical fans so you can feel the wind in your face as you accelerate, a custom rumble-seat system and a force feedback wheel system.

You're the driver

The result was a realistic driving experience which puts the 'driver' in the seat of a Forumla E single-seater racing car, where you compete against others.

You're welcomed into the experience via a heritage montage of Jaguar Racing, featuring British motor racing driver, Sir Stirling Moss OBE. After, you go on to meet the new drivers of the Panasonic Jaguar racing team – but then the real magic happens and you pitch yourself against the otehr drivers. 

The experience was developed using bespoke assets in Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). Based on the creative strategy from Imagination, REWIND has developed a server-side back-end which allows up to six people to have a unique social experience – aware of each other’s movements and customisation options – within the experience itself.

Before the end of the experience, you can then activate your own FanBoost to go for the win. FanBoost is a concept introduced by the FIA in the Formula E Championship to give the three 'most popular' drivers a temporary boost in power in each ePrix. This boost can be deployed in a five-second window during the second half of the race.

The experience is to celebrate Jaguar's launch into the Formula E motorsport series, and from the pictures seems to hit the nail on the head in terms of giving fans a 'true-to-life' driving experience.

Indeed, it's interesting to see brands going beyond 360 video and veering toward real VR/4D to give customers a proper taste of what virtual reality's limits are.

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