With the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder not slated to hit dealerships until this fall, the automaker has teamed up with Microsoft for an innovative new way for prospective buyers to check out the all-new crossover before it even hits lots. Using the Kinect for Windows technology, customers can customize a 2013 Pathfinder and interact with a digital version of it at the dealership this summer.
Nissan showed off its “Pathfinder Kinect Experience” earlier this year at the Chicago and New York auto shows to debut its revamped three-row SUV. Now, it’s rolling the feature out in 16 dealers spread across 13 states. The technology combines the Kinect motion sensor, a Windows-enabled computer, and a television screen to let the user interact with the 2013 Pathfinder by reaching, leaning, bending over, and stepping from side to side. The PKE will also include “hotspots” that can be selected to show more detail on a certain feature.
The automaker hopes the new interactive tech will help to “build awareness, excitement, and buzz while extending the sales cycle for new vehicle launches.” By having a digital version of a car that has yet to come to market, Nissan is hoping that it can keep more sales on the table despite not having the physical models available when potential buyers come into the dealership.
Nifty, but Nissan’s hardly the only company looking to capitalize on interactive dealership technology: Audi, for instance, is working on creating virtual dealerships in 20 cities across the globe that allow customers to customize their car and get a 360-degree view of the virtual finished product. Ford, too, is looking to new tech – the automaker has crafted a new iPad application to help augment the in-dealership car-buying experience.
The Pathfinder Kinect Experience will run from now until the end of November at certain dealerships in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.