Archer Aviation raises the bar for product launches with immersive XR technology

With sights set on propelling forward the next big revolution in transportation, startup Archer Aviation wanted an equally awe-inspiring event to launch its groundbreaking demonstrator aircraft, Maker, to the world.

Maker looks like a sleek hybrid between a helicopter and a small airplane, what’s technically known as an electrical vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. It can take off and land like a helicopter (without any of the noise), and fly forward like an airplane. Fully battery operated, it can travel a range of 60 miles at speeds of 150 mph. The intention is for these crafts to form an affordable fleet of air shuttles, ferrying passengers to and fro across cities, reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions, and putting urban exploration in easy reach.

Equally impressive, and ambitious, was the launch event.

Short of taking the whole audience along for a ride on the craft itself, which at the date of launch was still in the process of attaining the necessary certification, the next best thing was to create a fully immersive experience of flying in Maker.

To do this, Archer employed some of the latest and greatest tech currently in use in video production. Yes, we’re talking XR (extended reality). In case you’re not familiar, XR is an exciting and dynamic new tech that’s essentially also a hybrid in nature, comprising augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality. It’s at the forefront of immersive tech, the stuff sci-fi fantasies are made of, and it’s rapidly being developed for mainstream adoption. 

While it might look like a stationery craft suspended in front of an LED screen, it’s so much more. With the help of agencies Elevator (lead agency) and PGR Events (creative and technical production partner), an empty airplane hangar was converted into a stage with a massive 3D LED screen where the XR visuals came to life, paired with binaural sound, live musicians, state-of-the-art lighting design, complete with what else but a curtain drop unveiling the Maker craft on stage. Take a look.

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