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Touareg stars in AR app

An app shows what it's like to drive the new SUV in a 180-degree video.

Fans of the new Touareg will have to wait a little longer before they can see the recently unveiled new version of the popular Volkswagen SUV live and in color at their local dealership. To bridge the gap until the sales launch in the summer, the Product Marketing department came up with a very special idea - an AR app.

AR is the abbreviation for augmented reality. Using the app, tech-savvy customers are not yet able to physically touch the new Touareg, but they can experience it virtually. AR apps are nothing special in and of themselves, says Arne Bruns from the Digital Image Factory. "But in terms of quality and features, our app is unique in the automotive industry." One such feature is an impressive 180-degree video that shows the SUV - in a choice of Aquamarine Blue or Sand Gold - in motion. Whether it's from the front, the side or the rear - the user can view the car from all angles. The app also offers the possibility to step into the interior of the Touareg and explore. For example, you can adjust the ambient lighting or try out the huge Innovation Cockpit. The app also explains features like the massage seats, the LED Matrix Light and the Night Vision assistance.

The key feature, however, is another function altogether: Users have the option to place the virtual camera in any location of their choosing using the iPhone camera - whether as a miniature model on their desk or in full size on their driveway. The deceptively realistic image can then be shared with friends and acquaintances on social networks like Facebook and Instagram. For an even more realistic image, users can place themselves behind the steering wheel - using the iPhone's selfie function.

"The app is a great example of interdisciplinary teamwork," says Denise Wischnewski from the "User Experience" team, which is part of the Sales division. The app was developed by the Marketing, the Digital Image Factory, IT and Development departments - together, they form the New Realities Competence Center, or NRCC for short. "There were less than three months between the initial idea and the completion of the app," remarks Wischnewski's colleague, Christian Reich, with pride.

How the Touareg app works:
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(1:48 Min)

The "Touareg AR Experience" app can be downloaded for free from the Apple iTunes store. An iPhone 7 or later model is required. The app will initially be available only in Germany; other markets will follow shortly.

These employees were involved in the development of the app: (from left) Florian Rotsolk, Max Süper, Denise Wischnewski, Christian Reich, Arne Bruns.

The app can be used to place the Touareg bang in the middle of your office - at least in a virtual sense.