The Virtual Showroom app from Linde Material Handling has been available for iOS and Android systems since last year. The app gives smartphone and tablets users a 360° interactive experience, enabling them to play around with 27 virtual industrial trucks against any background, with options to rotate, shrink, enlarge, and much more.
Sandra Lambermont, Product Manager for Digital Marketing Media at Linde Material Handling taps her tablet and suddenly the Linde Roadster E30 R appears on screen, right there on her desk. She then drags the virtual truck across the screen onto the floor of the room and enlarges it to its full size. “For our dealers, it's like having the trucks there with them all the time,” she explains.
That’s the great benefit of Linde’s Virtual Showroom app. The app uses Augmented Reality (AR) technology to project a choice of 27 virtual forklift trucks and industrial trucks in 200 different colors onto the surrounding environment. “The app first scans the surrounding area using the camera on the mobile device,” explains Lambermont. A 3D model is then projected over this background on-screen to help visualize, for example, how much space the truck will realistically take up in the customer’s operating environment. Customers can also get a close look at their chosen truck from all angles, against the backdrop of their own site.
“The app enables us to discuss the internal features of our forklift trucks in detail with the operators. That’s really important, as ultimately they are the ones who will be operating the trucks each day,” Lambermont continues. Operators are also able to test out the view from the operator’s workstation, both past the mast and on all sides.
More Powerful than Pictures
The free app has been available for both iOS and Android systems since November 2019. Once downloaded, all the app features can be used offline at any time. The app is a great sales tool and much more effective than simply talking customers through specifications and catalog images. Instead the AR technology paints an accurate picture of how the forklift will fit within the customer's own warehouse environment. It is also possible to take a screenshot of the AR image, should the customer require a reference copy of the image of the truck within their own environment. What’s more, the app includes videos and animations which provide additional information, including footage of the trucks in operation and demonstrations of the individual features. To use the app, all that is required is a smartphone or tablet with AR capability and a functioning camera. Linde Material Handling continues to develop the app with regular updates to enhance the features and simplify the user experience.