Good Design | BMWi Interactive NYC Window

Every now and again there is a project that manages to slip under the GD radar, but it is so good and genuinely inspiring that it would simply be wrong not to re-share it. BMWi’s A Window into the Near Future, is one of those projects.

Originally designed way back in 2012 when the BMWi Born Electric Tour  was making its stop in New York City, the BMWi creative team wanted to find an innovative way to create awareness of BMWi, drive people inside the event and reinforce the message that the future is closer than you think. Their idea was to use a slice of digital design wizardry. Turning a street-level window at the event location into a digital reflection of passing traffic and transforming the passing cars into BMW i3s and i8s to give passers-by a glimpse into how the roads could look in a few years time. Real BMWi vehicles could be seen inside.

“We wanted to create an innovative way to create awareness of BMWi, drive people inside the event & reinforce the message that the future is closer than you think.”

BMWi

bmwi-1-620x348-7954441

The team began with the idea of turning live traffic into BMWi vehicles in the reflection of a window. The challenge revolved around creating that illusion. Using a learned background ensured the reflection of Bryant Park across the street matched the number of leaves left on the trees, the holiday vendors, etc. Then, using blob detection technology, they transformed vehicles and matched their speed/behaviour with BMWi vehicles. Adding to the realism, they also detected yellow vehicles and projected them as passing taxis. This enhanced the one-to-one relationship of live traffic and projected vehicles.

bmwi-2-620x348-9388716 bmwi-3-620x348-9239703

With three cameras, 80,000 lumens and more than 250,000 lines of unique code, the team built digital car-tracking technology that transformed 248,368 cars into BMW i3 and i8 vehicles over one week. The window also calculated how much money would be saved and how many tons of CO2 emissions we can reduce annually if each transformed car were all-electric. No surprise then that the campaign was awarded Gold in the Out of Home category at the 2013 Andy Awards.

It’s an ingenious way to use digital design and technology to engage people in a desirable vision of a sustainable future. More of the same in 2014 please BMWi!