Friday, November 28, 2008

Vectorform and BMW Finally Release Surface Car Configurator

It looks like BMW is putting their Surface PR push together. Frances at Vectorform in New York was kind enough to demo this for me recently.

This app confirmed my suspicion that Surface is an excellent solution for complex product sales that involve:
1. Group decision making
2. Complex product specification
3. High order accuracy
4. Highly granular feedback on product features from a large user group.

A couple of immediate thoughts:

1. There is what looks like a very nice use of prerendered video to simulate a 3D interior (see the last post on Adobe Labs research for some ideas on how you might do this even better)...

2. The application really shows the power and limitations of using Surface's object recognition capabilities.
- The magic of placing a paint chip on the car and then actually seeing it is amazing.

- Successful Surface developments require interaction designers who understand how to design tangible objects. Even with an additional tray to hold the artifacts, they seem difficult for a novice to find and use. It's a bit bizarre that Surface isn't designed to accomodate a tray for artifacts.

3. With the exception of Harrah's bar, every app developed outside of Microsoft has mounted Surface at Bar height. Customers should demand an optional stand to mount surface at this height. After all the bells and whistles, Surface is a $15,000 box. It should be usable without buying a $5,000 custom cabinet.

4. Scatter view is the right solution for almost nevery situation. This is a GERMAN DRIVING MACHINE. Why are the pictures spinning around all willy-nilly?

Very interesting stuff. More later.

Interesting Stuff. I'll post a more in depth review later.


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