Interview: Jaunt VR Director Alex Pearce talks about the Kia Stinger VR Experience

As we reported earlier, the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit had a quite unique experience for its visitors: the Kia Stinger 4D Test Drive, created by Kia Motors America in collaboration with Jaunt VR, a market leading company in producing and distributing VR, AR and mixed reality branded content, as well as original experiences for both entertainment and enterprise customers. We wanted to know more about the Stinger project, and reached out to Jaunt, where Alex Pearce, Producer and Director of the Stinger VR project was kind enough to answer our questions.

RacinginVR: What was Jaunt’s role in the development of the Kia Stinger VR app?

Alex Pearce: Jaunt partnered with Kia to create a custom channel on the Jaunt VR app that would allow users to explore key features of the Kia Stinger before choosing one of the 3 virtual test drives. We shot each one of the locations and then brought them to the masses.

Based on your experience, what are the main advantages of releasing a company’s own branded VR content?

I think that VR is still very new and cool. It’s continuing to grow in size and popularity and when a company has its own branded VR content, it shows that they are current with social trends and allows them to reach younger audiences. If you think about the companies who developed their own websites early on, they were way ahead of the curve when the internet really blew up. The same will be true in VR. The companies who are creating branding experiences today, are going to understand how to connect to their audiences in the future as VR grows.

companies who developed their own websites early on, they were way ahead of the curve when the internet really blew up. The same will be true in VR.

What qualities or attributes of a car can be realistically recreated in a virtual reality environment?

The entire car! In the virtual test drives we created for Kia, we filmed 3 different locations with cinematic cameras to capture full high dynamic range, and then used that information to light the CG car. The lighting, reflections and little details like being able to see in the mirrors are what really trick you mind into thinking it’s real.

How do customers react to the VR experience? Are they enthusiastic about it?

Viewers have been very engaged with the experience! We debuted the experience at the Detroit Auto Show and many people said they enjoy the experience. Many people didn’t even realize the car was completely computer generated!

How do you see VR as an advertisement tool in 5 years from now?

Because VR is a new platform, it allows people to experience a brand in a new and exciting way. In addition, leveraging the 360 and immersive content through different mediums like we did for the Detroit Auto Show is another great example of how we can allow people to have an experience with a brand versus just a 2D commercial. We would not be surprised if every marketing campaign had a VR or AR extension in 5 years from now.

Want to learn even more about this VR project? Visit Jaunt’s Kia Stinger lobby where you can watch all three Test Drive videos with the exclusive commentary of Kia representatives. This is one of the three locations, featuring a fantastic scenery in California: