Have you ever thought to yourself, "Gee, I really wish I could watch Ford™ virtual reality experiences on my phone"? Me neither, but someone out there must be at least mildly interested, even if they are an executive at Ford.
All joking aside, FordVR is a new application that provides "an extraordinary new virtual reality experience that’s the closest thing to the real thing," according to the app's description. Upon downloading the app, you are greeted with the one video currently available in FordVR - "The Return to Le Mans." Even if you're not at all into sport car racing, it should still be interesting. The video showcases the Ford GT winning its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (the world's oldest running car race in endurance racing) fifty years after the namesake GT40 won the same race overall.
The app itself isn't bad, it allows you to watch the VR video with or without a VR headset. There's no way to change your position in the video while it's playing, though, and no option for resuming a video where you left off. Also there's only one video, another titled "World Rallycross with Ken Block" is said to be coming in September.
DEARBORN, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Picture yourself standing trackside at one of the biggest auto races in the world, next to one of the hottest supercars ever made. The sights, the sounds – all of it so intense. Only you’re not really there, you’re thousands of miles away in your bed.
The new Ford virtual reality app makes all of this possible. Launching today for iOS and Android users in the United States, Ford’s new virtual reality app delivers a powerful storytelling platform for consumers and fans to experience Ford innovations like never before.
“We are very excited about this opportunity to provide truly immersive experiences that showcase the best of Ford Motor Company,” says Lisa Schoder, Ford digital marketing manager. “Our virtual reality platform allows us to tell dramatic, impactful stories, to show a surprising side of Ford.”
The first piece of featured content is the story behind the all-new Ford GT’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Fifty years after the original victory, the innovative balance of power and efficiency in Ford’s EcoBoost® engine delivered an incredible class win earlier this year.
“Just as Ford GT goes beyond the traditional at Ford, our entry into virtual reality content creation demonstrates how our passion for innovation permeates every piece of our business and offers a new touch point for tech-savvy consumers to connect with our brand,” says Schoder.
To help achieve its goals, Ford partnered with integrated production company Tool of North America, a leader in virtual reality and 360-degree content and mobile app creation. Tool has won numerous awards for innovation in storytelling, including Emmys, The One Show, South by Southwest, AICP and the Cannes Lions Palme d’Or.
“As an auto and racing enthusiast, I was inspired by the opportunity and the challenge of helping the iconic Ford brand make its virtual reality debut,” says Erich Joiner, director and founder, Tool of North America. “For the innovative Ford GT, I wanted to create something that gives people an exciting virtual reality experience beyond the traditional. I wanted to use the immersive technology not only to transport them to a new place, but to take them where only a special few from the Ford racing team typically go – inside the famed track at Le Mans.”
The Ford virtual reality app is accessible to anyone with a mobile device. Each piece of content offers users the option to experience it with a virtual reality headset, but headsets are not mandatory.
Ford virtual reality app users can expect the next story to debut in September, featuring Hoonigan Racing’s Ken Block and Ford Focus RS RX. Users with their push notifications turned on will get the update when new content goes live.
The new virtual reality platform goes beyond showcasing Ford Performance vehicles.
“On top of sharing virtual reality stories about our innovative products, we are also looking to bring mobility issues to the forefront,” says Schoder. “As we expand our business to be both an auto and a mobility company, we are pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility.”