21 Nov

Nissan and ZeroLight deliver Project Iris Concept

Exploring customer interest for colour-changing cars

In September 2017, the ZeroLight team were invited to work with Nissan's John Ferguson, the recipient of the prestigious Nissan Chairman's Innovation Award. Working out of the Nissan Innovation Lab in Paris, John and his team have been exploring the viability of and customer interest for an innovative concept that would allow customers to change the colour of their car post-production. Using razor-thin displays which switch colours when a small current is applied, the concept would allow owners to customise the colour of all or parts of their car whenever they choose.

ZeroLight were selected by Nissan to create an interactive experience of the concept which would allow the Nissan team to demonstrate and frame the idea prior to conducting interviews with customers.

An innovative UI for an innovative concept

The interactive experience developed for this project allowed users to select from a vast array of colours, each available in matte, gloss and metallic and further customisable with a shade slider. Making each of these enormous number of options accessible to the user in a simple, intuitive way was a challenge the ZeroLight team solved through the application of a 3D user interface concept on a tablet configurator.

A custom-designed and developed segmented colour sphere allowed the user to seamlessly change the colour of a new Nissan LEAF model displayed on a nearby screen without any lag or load time. As well as providing intuitive access to a huge number of colours, its interactive and playful nature encourages the user to experiment and spend time with the experience.

"The demands of this project gave us the opportunity to take a very creative approach to the design and overall user interface. We focused on making an intuitive experience that allowed Nissan to engage customers and receive as much information on their innovative concept as possible."

Craig McHugh
Technical Director at ZeroLight

High-speed development, high-quality delivery

Following the successful and highly regarded delivery of the new Nissan LEAF VR project, ZeroLight was entrusted with this project's high-quality and quick-turnaround requirements. The concept was displayed at the Nissan Innovation Station in the O2 Centre - the O2 Arena's shopping centre in London. Running for a week, the showcase saw hundreds of visitors trial the experience, giving Nissan the chance to collect valuable data and customer feedback on the colour-changing concept.

"We had a very narrow window in which to run the experiment, so it was vital that we turned everything around very quickly. We initially had concerns that it wouldn't be possible to build what we wanted in the time we had, but once we started speaking to ZeroLight, our fears were allayed. They immediately understood what we wanted and demonstrated incredible flexibility in order to help us achieve our deadline."

"The passion and enthusiasm of the ZeroLight team was infectious. On the first day of the experiment, their help in setting everything up was invaluable. Despite the very short development time, the deliverable was high quality and worked exactly as expected. It was a pleasure to work with ZeroLight; they were professional, pragmatic and down to Earth."

John Ferguson
Architecture Innovation & Governance Lead
at Nissan