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GAROU brings 'smart cities' to life

Updated: Jan 29

Last week finalists Chinatown Bureau and innogy Consulting presented their mobility concept to City of New York as part of the NYCx Climate Action Challenge. Their proposal: an end-to-end, scalable and sustainable concept of Mobility Hubs focused on accessible EV charging infrastructure, including smart charging hardware, community hubs, connected mobility services with added services through engagement with local communities to position NYC as a global role model for sustainable transportation.



GAROU’s role? To create an immersive VR experience to show the City of New York how it can bring a future mobility experience to the masses and demonstrate the joint capability of Chinatown Bureau and innogy Consulting.


Following NYCx guidelines, we collaborated with innogy Consulting and The Chinatown Bureau to design this smart city experience, modelling every aspect of the community in CGI and putting the viewer at the heart of a Flagship Hub at Hudson Yards: drivers checking real-time vehicle data through the app to locate the community, mobility services to keep productivity up while their vehicle is charging as well as other smart city solutions and information on nearby transportation with a focus on green options. You can see the video here.


May 17 was demo day. Together with our partners, we demonstrated the proposed Flagship and Community Hubs to officials from New York City. As strong proponents of environmental sustainability we were grateful to be part of this project and contribute a vibrant and memorable experience that brought New York as a smart city to life.


How successful were we? The event itself proved a hit with the VR users and we can conclude that room-scale VR is a powerful tool to generate empathy and connect with a project or a cause.


Pending a final decision from the City of New York that will determine if our partners were selected to the next round, here are some quick takeaways to keep in mind when creating high-fidelity VR content:


· Room scale VR requires to design for all six directions surrounding the VR user who can look and move everywhere;

· Space and environments that are very sculptural work best;

· Human scale and foreground objects is key for a more engaging experience.

· Exterior spaces and nature are still harder to achieve photo realism

· Using heights and vertigo always works


Interested in creating a room-scale experience? Contact us.

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