The Future of Interactive Mobile Computing
There is no question that the car buying process and experience will change dramatically in the next few years too. Technically, today it is possible to do the entire transaction online, but the problem lies with the user experience – the lack of “touch and feel”. The speed with which technology is developing, the availability of bandwidth, the development of practical mobility solutions and the increase in processing power will lead to technologies that we can only imagine today. One of the best examples is the iPad from Apple. It is a truly practical mobility solution that brings a full multimedia experience to the user.
Publications such as Wired Magazine and Popular Mechanics have embraced the technology to produce online reading experiences that were only seen in science fiction movies a year ago. One can read an article about a car and see interactive videos and high definition interactive 3D models of cars. Another technology that is developing at the speed of light is 3D computing. Combining the interactive, multimedia experience of the iPad with a 3D experience (a precursor to holograms) will revolutionize the way we interact with our environment. Imagine browsing a website in 3D and looking at fully interactive and 3D models of cars, being able to look inside the car and under the hood. You will even be able to virtually “kick the tires”.
The idea that consumers want to touch and feel before they buy is true only for today. As the consumer immersion experience improves they will be much more amenable to online purchasing of high ticket items such as cars. All of this is obviously much more true for new cars, especially the strong and well recognized brands. Pranav Mistry from MIT developed a technology called ‘SixthSense’ that allows the user to have a totally mobile interactive integration with the physical world. There is no doubt that the car buying experience is going to change dramatically in the next five years and the obstacles that exist today preventing consumers from buying online will all but disappear.