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December 2014
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Take a Virtual Test Drive with ‘Volvo Reality’
Experience the thrill of wheeling the all-new XC90 on your smartphone

The all-new XC90 represents the rebirth of the Volvo company, according to Bodil Eriksson, Executive Vice President of Volvo North America. With a simple, luxurious and intuitive design, Volvo has matched that insightfulness of the XC90 and raised it with the debut of ‘Volvo Reality.’


Volvo Reality is an app on the Apple App Store and Google Play that allows you to partake in a full virtual reality test drive on your smartphone. Using Google Cardboard—a brand new, low-cost virtual reality format—Volvo offers users a fully-immersive test drive, which is an industry first.


The goal of Volvo Reality is to show how the XC90 is really designed with the customer in mind. At Volvo, characteristics of the Swedish culture are what inspire the engineers. The feeling of wide open spaces, fresh air and quiet surroundings—those are some of things translated into the design of the XC90, and now you can encounter all that through your phone.


“The XC90 changes the experience you have in a car, and we wanted to bring that to everyone,” explained Eriksson of the reasoning behind Volvo Reality. “We wanted many people to experience the joy we feel around this car.”


This latest Volvo innovation was created using eight cameras filming over a 60-mile stretch of road in Sweden. The footage, paired with CG-built interior of the XC90, generated a 360-degree panorama for input to the app.


Google Cardboard is utilized because it gives anyone the capability of bringing virtual reality right to your smartphone. You simply fold the flat piece of cardboard into its viewfinder shape and slide your phone inside to view; the whole process takes less than a minute. The ease of use, low cost and wide availability are what moved Volvo to employ the design, said Jay Zasa, Senior Vice President and Executive Creative Director at R/GA, digital advertising agency for Volvo.


“What we’ve done here with Google cardboard and Volvo is really the best of innovation because it’s not just using technology for its own sake; it really does put people right in the center of the XC90,” Zasa said.


To immerse yourself in the Swedish countryside from the seat of the all-new XC90, download the Volvo Reality app for iOS and Android operating systems. Request your Google Cardboard at http://www.volvocars.com/us/about/our-stories/google-cardboard, and enter to receive a custom Google Cardboard headset. The app works without the headset, as well.

This article is presented by Kundert Volvo in Hasbrouck Heights and Englewood, NJ.


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