For a luxury manufacturer like BMW, competition at auto shows for the public's attention gets tougher every year. With strong efforts from the likes of Mercedes-Benz and Audi, along with American, Japanese and Korean rivals, a strong stage presence is vital to luring potential customers. In typical German fashion, when the going gets tough, the tough get technology.
Since mono-media has fallen victim to multimedia, traditional show stand-ups can longer just display text -- no, they need video and full interactivity. BMW is taking a headlong jump into the future by using Apple iPads as there central information distribution device. Visitors at the South Florida International Auto Show, which runs November 5-14, will be the first to see BMW's roll out of the new technology. BMW plans on using the same system at all the major upcoming events for North America, but with the current goal of one iPad per vehicle, brace yourself for some long queues.
The iPad -- and the special BMW app -- will allow customers to configure cars, read full specs, watch video and even schedule test drives with a local dealership. BMW is also quick to point out that the rich-media format will allow visitors to see dozens or even hundreds of detailed photographs of the car they will be standing in front of. At launch, the iPad software will operate in either English or Spanish, although pricing -- spec'ed out for the U.S. market -- appears to be a universal language of sorts.