Audi just made the world’s best Kinect hack, a dynamic VR sandbox experience

    Audi have put together a Virtual Reality experience that’s designed to return the fun to the world of driving. The Oculus Rift setup puts you behind the wheel of the Audi Q5, but the environment you drive in is pretty special. Sandpits were not only fun when we were kids, but a platform to explode our creativity.

    This platform has 2 steps. First you’re introduced to a real life sandpit where you can build a track, add jumps and obstacles, moving the sand around as you please. Then with help from MediaMonks, they take that exact creation into real-time VR, allowing you to drive the track you just shaped.

    The sandpit is dynamically scanned using the depth sensing camera of Microsoft’s Kinect, which was then imported to Unity, connected to the minaturised car model of the Audi Q5, which allows you to then use the Oculus Rift to drive through the 3D sandpit you can created, how cool is that?

    The best part about this setup is that its dynamic. If another user wants a go, the sand is moved, the environment re-scanned and the 3D models updated. This experience really is taken to the next level when you appreciate they considered the event that you may push the sand away and expose the bottom of the sandpit. When these sections are identified in the scan, they are represented as water in the VR experience.

    The environment was capture in amazing detail, over 200,000 points and the sand was shot with bursts of infrared light. Thanks to force feedback in the steering wheel, drivers get to experience what its like being behind the wheel of the Q5, including the feeling of driving on sand, along with actual sounds of an Audi Q5.

    Its an incredibly neat setup and its the behind the scenes video that really tells the amazing story of the technology behind the project. If I was an Audi car salesman, I’d love this experience to play a part of future showrooms.

    The Making of Audi: Enter Sandbox from MediaMonks on Vimeo.

    Now here’s the final TVC product.

    Audi: Enter Sandbox TVC from MediaMonks on Vimeo.


    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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