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Design & Tech

Augmented Reality: Riding into the Final Frontier

Augmented Reality | Riding Into the Final Frontier

VanMoof bikes are anything but virtual. They’re very real, physical things – otherwise it would be quite difficult to sit on them. But today the Electrified S2 takes a leap into the brave virtual unknown, beaming straight into the pockets of prospective riders around the world.

The VanMoof Augmented Reality experience renders a photo-realistic Electrified S2 in your living room, office, greenhouse… or anywhere you choose to place it. Smartphone in hand, users can walk around the virtual bike as if it were really there, getting up-close-and-personal with the Matrix Display’s 166 LEDs, hearing the roar of the integrated alarms, and activating the powerful Turbo Boost.

Sound like science fiction? Well, it sort of is. But this out-of-this-world innovation was born out of a very real-world situation. As VanMoof grows into 2020 and beyond, over 80% of our riders are now choosing to buy bikes online (taking advantage of that sweet free delivery, no doubt).

More online sales mean more VanMoof bikes being shipped around the world, and therefore more potential returns. Obviously, we want to minimize returns from a rider satisfaction standpoint, but we also want to reduce the environmental impact – cutting unnecessary shipping wherever possible.

One of the ways we can do this is by letting riders try the bike before they buy. We already know that most riders who take a real-life brand store test ride will end up taking an Electrified home. With this new AR experience, customers can take a virtual test ride before deciding if it’s the superpowered e-bike for them. The better a rider can get to know a bike – seeing it in lifesize 3D, understanding how all the features work – the more satisfied they’re likely to be with the purchase. Win-win.

Of course, we’re forgetting one important thing – it’s also a lot of fun. Augmented reality is now in that beautiful ‘sweet spot’ where the tech is accessible and available to almost anyone (all you need is a smartphone), but it still has a sense of ‘magic’ in use. It’s one thing to see a render of a bike in your browser, but it’s something else to see a picture-perfect Electrified standing next to you.

And while the AR render defaults to the bike’s real size, you’re free to scale it up or down to your liking. Shrink it super-small to make an Electrified for your pet gerbil, or blow it up until you have a skyscraper e-bike, crushing the city beneath its wheels. Seeing is believing… and the sky really is the limit.

So there you go. No apps to download, no fees to pay, no instructions to read. Just the world’s most advanced e-bike in the world’s most advanced e-shop experience. What are you waiting for? Grab your iPhone and take the S2 for an augmented reality spin right now.

Peter Gigg

About this author

Peter Gigg is VanMoof's resident Brit. He enjoys writing, running, and remaining in the EU.