Nissan and Microsoft have partnered to create a way for potential customers to visit a dealer and interact with a digital version of a 2013 Pathfinder even before the all-new crossover arrives at its lots this fall. Nissan is offering this feature in 16 dealers throughout 13 states. Set to debut this summer is the “Pathfinder Kinect Experience,” which uses the Kinect for Windows technology.
It was demonstrated at the Chicago and New York auto shows earlier this year during the debut of its revamped three-row SUV. It makes use of a combination of the Kinect motion sensor, a Windows-enabled computer, and a television screen so that the user can interact with the 2013 Pathfinder by reaching, leaning, bending over, and stepping from side to side.
It also makes use of “hotspots” that may be chosen to display more detail on a specific feature. Nissan hopes that the new interactive technology will help to increase awareness and hype while lengthening the sales cycle to cover new vehicle launches.
Nissan hopes that by providing a digital version of a car that hasn’t arrived in the market yet, it will be able to keep more sales on the table even when it doesn’t yet have the physical models available in the dealership.
The Pathfinder Kinect Experience has already been launched and prospective buyers can benefit from this service until the end of November at some of Nissan’s dealerships in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Other automakers also recognize the value of interactive dealership technology. For example, Audi is working on building virtual dealerships in 20 cities around the world that enable customers to customize their car and get a 360-degree view of the virtual finished product. Ford has developed a new iPad application to help boost the in-dealership car-buying experience.