Most automotive preview or promo Apps are pretty lousy. They show a posh experience, videos and photos in a nice branded environment, but generally offer little new info you cannot find on the web. Additionally, they are all just a giant funnel to point you toward your local dealership, or to the OEM's main website for complex configurations/specs/etc.
The new Bentley INSPIRATOR iOS app just launched today with a vastly different approach: a scientific exploration of your moods, preferences and tastes --- that requires few of the "next" clicks of a typical configurator.
We were heavily skeptical that the app would be anything special, but a 5-min demo shows some impressive tech and world-first use of facial recognition. How does it create the perfect Bentayga for you?
Four emotional metrics are measured right on your face while you watch a series of ultra-posh video vignettes. In the rapid-fire of images and video from global luxury destinations, materials and lifestyle -- the INSPIRATOR app is watching, and plotting, the emotional indicators of your facial expression.
We identified four metrics the INSPIRATOR app tracks, and there is a cool demo page at the end of your build. These four graphs make a scientific plot in real-time across four axes:
-- engagement (is this interesting and keeping your attention?)
-- sentiment (yay or nay)
-- surprise (are you pleasantly surprised)
-- aversion (do you hate this)
So, as the gentleman speaks about life and luxury, snippets of a sailboat will appear for two seconds or so. Then a jungle, or a nightclub, or outdoor festival. By mapping your four reactions, the algorithym takes a real-time snapshot of your likes and dislikes.
Of course, there is quite a bit of fuzzy logic. Why does me smiling at 'snow' direct me to my eventual silver configuration? And a raised eyebrow somewhere along the way pointed me toward black veneers and a dark crismon leather for the cabin? It is fascinating, but we wonder how many overall configurations it can spit out. If it is just eight or less, the whole exercise is silly. But if the overall thousands of color/wheels/cabin options are in play via INSPIRATOR, we are very impressed.
The reality of which 'results' you can achieve is likely somewhere in between on this first stage of the tech. But some day, facial recognition will be very powerful and a key part of the luxury UX, or user experience.
Is it perfect, and a full replacement for seeing nearly all the colors and options via a trad configurator vuyers guide, like below, with a look at all the wheels and colors from every angle? Not yet.
But emotional recognition via the iPhone camera has dozens of applications -- both pre-sale and post-sale as an owner. A camera watching the Bentayga driver, for example, might be able to soften the ride quality when you are showing mellow facial emotions. Or if you are becoming angry or frustrated with the Nav or Infotainment of the car, the software could adapt to more of a 'Beginner' setting.
It all sounds very beta and perhaps very irritating in the above scenarios. But the tech will improve, and holds great promise. Well beyond choosing your subconscious brain's ideal Bentayga. =]
Click here to download the Bentley Inspirator App from the App Store.
A luxury commissioning experience
A new luxury commissioning experience from Bentley, where your facial reactions shape and guide your way to a recommended Bentayga specification, inspired by you, available for iPhone and iPad.
At our factory in Crewe, England, some of the world’s most inspired cars are created. From the vast selection of exterior paint colours, wheels, leather hides and wood veneer, billions of combinations are possible.
To help inspire you, the Bentley Inspirator application will launch a commissioning experience like no other, resulting in a tailored specification that is as individual as you.
Using the latest in emotional recognition technology, watch as you are guided through an immersive film that is shaped, directed and inspired by your facial and emotional reactions. Based on your measures of engagement – captured by your device’s camera – your personal vision of extraordinary is defined and a bespoke Bentayga is recommended for you.
You are shown why certain colours and materials were suggested for you, and how your interaction with the video content resulted in your recommended Bentayga specification. This is then published within a special digital magazine stored within the app.
In addition, explore the stunning features of Bentley’s first ever SUV within the film and image gallery, as well as learning more about the Bentley story that inspired Bentayga.
Click here to download the Bentley Inspirator App from the App Store.
Don't have an iPhone or iPad? Click here to visit the Bentley Suggests Gallery on our website to explore colour and specification options for Bentayga.
The Bentayga just launched last night, so its full configurator going live at the same time is a big deal! All is there... minus one detail at the end: the price.
Even so, among the hundreds of custom options lie some very tempting choices to really make it roar in your style.
We've spent wayyy too long in there today so will pop out and show you a smattering of the fabulousness via 50 or so color samples, a wheels guide/visualizer, and even a look at the accessories and options.
But first: a nugget of smile-inducing info about the Bentayga?
Two really on-trend factory options: the Black Brightware Specification and the Bentayga Styling Specification. These two are gorgeous. The first, Black Brightware, is a de-chrome for the exterior of the car in total. And there is a lot of brightwork on Bentayga. The dark and sinister dip also smokes the full LED headlamp optics to give them a meaner stare.
BENTAYGA BLACK BRIGHTWARE SPECIFICATION
A visually striking option pack, the black finish applied to the exterior brightware makes a dramatic and bold statement.Specification includes:
- Inner and outer headlamp bezels
- Radiator shell surround and matrix
- Lower front door, rear door and rear bumper brightware
- Side glass brightware
- Rear lamps
- Rear number plate surround bezel
- Wing vent
BENTAYGA STYLING SPECIFICATION
A suite of carbon fibre styling modifications, featuring jewellery-inspired design cues. Not only do these features enhance the look of the Bentayga, but they also improve its aerodynamic performance.Specification includes:
- Front splitter
- Front splitter infill
- Front air blades
- Front wing vent covers
- Side sills
- Rear diffuser
- Rear tailgate spoiler
- Rear tailgate strakes
- Mirror caps
- Quad exhaust tailpipe finishers
The Bentayga Styling Spec might be even more desirable, but will likely be priced much higher than Black Brightware. A variety of carbon-fiber goodies outside look autobahn-ready. Check out the flics in the lower grille, the nose splitter, and especially the carbon-fiber rear wing! Oh, and dont forget quad exhaust pipes.
Those two treats are just dessert, however. The main course is 200 colors outside, six wheel styles, limitless cabin customization and must-have options.
We only screencapped a handful of the colors Bentley offers in the standard Bentayga lookbook -- but still it is dozens and dozens of slightly tweaked shades. Satin and matte finishes galore, and some really shouty new colors we love. Monaco Yellow looks stellar, as does Apple Green, Kingfisher blue and many others.
"Bentley Suggests" is a set of 11 pre-configured models you can order just as they are customized by Bentley, or can use them as a base for your ideas.
BENTAYGA Bentley Suggests Configurations
Bentley will match any color or customize a shade for you -- in addition to the roughly 1/3 of available colors shown below.
Hard to get a close look at the wheels, but multiple styles and finishes are available. We like either of the five-spokes, and landed on the biggest 22-inch size in a polished finish.
Inside, the main noteworthy thing is how lovely the car looks! The new compact-centered steering wheel is classy and sporty, while the wood and decor does not overwhelm. Interesting upgrades are the full-length panoramic roof option (yes) and a four-seat cabin with twin thrones/console in back.
A dual tablet rear entertainment system looks handy, but might not last in kids hands. Removable screens are a double-edged sword that way.
Every option is pretty desirable, and we checked most of the boxes. Notable choices outside include tinted windows, roof rack delete, and nose finishes. The standard grilles in the lower bumper are black, but can be upgraded to match the main polished matrix design up top.
The All Terrain package looks like a must for those who actually will off-road the thing in tough conditions, but it wears the smallest 20-inch alloys versus the 21s or 22s that look more fitting.
Power running boards are available, as is a power-deployable tow bar.
Here is a before/after animation showing Continental Yellow as standard, and with roof rack deleted plus privacy glass added.
This car is COMING! First deliveries start in "Early 2016," so naturally there are outdoor upgrades. Wheel chains, cargo organizer,