Mercedes-Benz is bringing a new Augmented Reality installation to the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament in Queens, NY. The exhibit allows visitors to receive an AR tennis lesson from 2017 U.S. Open Champion Sloane Stephens, and will be on display from August 21st to September 8th at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
“This year’s AR experience at the U.S. Open is one-of-a-kind,” said Mercedes-Benz Head of Brand Experience Marketing Monique Harrison. “We are excited to develop technological advancements not only for the in-car experience, but beyond.”
To create the AR version of Stephens, Mercedes captured the tennis star in front of a green screen and then translated the footage to AR. The experience does not use facial recognition, nor does it have a mobile device target. Guests are instead given an untethered tennis racquet and sent onto the court, where they can activate the game with the spoken phrase, “Hey Mercedes, teach me to play like Sloane.” At that point, Stephens will appear and deliver a quick AR tennis lesson.
While tennis and AR might seem like odd interests for a car manufacturer, “Hey Mercedes” is the same trigger that the company uses for its voice-activated mobile assistant platform, which was developed through a Dragon Drive partnership with Nuance Communications.
After the U.S. Open, the exhibit will make its way to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta for the home opener of the Atlanta Falcons.