Behind the scenes
Fin was very excited to be approached by Whybin\TBWA Digital Arts Network to create a virtual reality experience as part of the NRMA Insurance interactive Crashed Car Showroom Exhibition.
Virtual reality is a medium so new and unexplored by clients and agencies that everyone involved in the project was breaking new ground. The Oculus Rift headset, that the user wears to enter virtual reality, itself was a first-generation prototype not yet available to consumers.
Though the team at Fin has decades of combined experience in creating 3d worlds, this marked our first foray into virtual reality. But with a great collaborative spirit, the artists and IT specialists at Whybin\TBWA and Fin powered up the steep learning curve and soon had a very compelling experience on their hands.
Users of the ride take a seat in a normal looking Holden Commodore parked in the exhibition space. When they don the VR helmet, their vision is entirely taken over by the matching view from the driver’s seat of an identical “virtual” Commodore as it undergoes a violent crash test. When combined with a powerful hydraulic rig that throws the car body around and the appropriate sound effects blasting from the real car’s stereo, the total experience is all-enveloping.
When the exhibit won Best in Show and the Sydney Royal Easter Show, NRMA and Whybin\TBWA’s bold decision to experiment in virtual reality with Fin was confirmed as being truly on the leading edge of experiential media in 2014.