Nissan Chases a Virtual Reality Thrill

The Nissan stand at the Paris Motor Show is offering visitors a chance to experience “Chase the Thrill,” a new Virtual Reality (VR) encounter, which allows users to transform themselves into a rollerblading android capable of navigating a cyberpunk-esque simulated cityscape.

This experience, in which the mobile robot chases a Nissan Juke, is the result of collaboration between D2NA/DigitasLBi France, Nissan’s digital marketing specialists, and Unit9, a London-based production company. “Chase the Thrill” was inspired by the recent Nissan Juke TV ad, “Tested to Thrill”. Digitas LBi creative director explains that they spotted an opportunity to simulate the excitement of driving in an “innovative way” that gets the pulse racing. He praises Unit9 for their skills in interactivity and storytelling, since the experience not only highlights the Nissan Juke’s unique features, but also offers an adrenalin rush.

The Oculus Rift DK2 headset, which provides 360° head tracking, and a special treadmill and shoes allow participants to explore the virtual environment seamlessly. Users are plunged into a virtual world of movement and sensation as the avatar ducks under obstacles, bounds between buildings, and shimmies down walls with parkour-like tactics to keep up with the high speed of the Juke. Wrist monitors offer further immersion, allowing participants to compare their maximum heart beat and their best times with their friends.

“The vision was for a Blade Runner-esque simulated city environment that would pick up cues taken from the TV ad, such as the distinctive red neon,” says Henry Cowling, creative director of Unit 9’s VR division. “The android itself is inspired by the design of the car with elements of the brand and model an integral part of its DNA.”

The head of events at Nissan Europe, Thomas Rodier, said “People come to motor shows to discover new concepts and get excited about the future.” He believes “Chase the Thrill,” allows people “a taste of the future of gaming and interactivity.” Visitors can chase this interactive thrill until 19 October.

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