>> Call for Metaverse solutions to solve specific industrial challenges

>> Opportunity of a partnership with the BMW Group for the winning teams

Munich. The BMW Group Supplierthon with a focus on the "Metaverse and other Virtual Experiences" is starting today. The aim is to attract researchers, startups and pioneering tech leaders from within the global Metaverse community in order to gain an outside-in perspective.

Application here: Link to Metaverse Supplierthon

The Metaverse is the next iteration of the internet: a single, shared, persistent, immersive, 3D virtual space where humans experience life in ways they could not in the physical world. The Supplierthon will empower applicants to bring their innovative and visionary ideas for the Metaverse to life. Experts from the BMW Group have identified challenges in three different areas (for details see below): Vehicle Readiness, In-Car Experience and Virtual Ecosystems. The BMW Group believes that virtual experiences could make a significant difference by strengthening the entire customer experience and the product substance and could have an impact on the whole automotive industry in the future.

Registration begins today and the first deadline for submission is March 15, 2023. The ideas that are submitted will be examined and judged by a panel of experts who will select the finalists. They will proceed to the second round, where the ideas will be developed further to produce real business solutions by May 10, 2023. The second round will end with a pitch event where the finalists will present their solutions to a panel of experts before the winners are selected on May 24, 2023. The winners will have the opportunity to partner with the BMW Group and will also be involved in the implementation of pilot projects.

The BMW Group is a pioneer when it comes to virtualization and is now taking one step further

The Supplierthon for the "Metaverse and other Virtual Experiences" highlights the fact that the BMW Group is playing a leading role in efforts to bring the next level of digitalized human interaction to life. The BMW Group is generating value by consistently developing greater interaction and more immersive experiences using XR1 and Web 3.0, building on a vivid landscape of use cases, some of which are already connected, along the entire value chain. To ensure that its solution is coherent, the BMW Group is currently developing a strategic, centralized Metaverse Platform.

In December 2022, the company became one of the first automotive manufacturers to join the Metaverse Standards Forum. The company takes a holistic approach across three strategic dimensions: a Corporate Metaverse, a Commercial Metaverse and an In-Car Metaverse, as recently demonstrated by the BMW i Vision Dee vehicle and its Mixed Reality Slider, which was presented at the CES in Las Vegas. The Metaverse Supplierthon will focus only on in-car use cases.

"From our perspective, our industry is in the process of a step by step transformation, shifting human experiences into a virtual world driven by the metaverse." says Rudi Bencker, Senior Vice President Global Research, Tech Offices and Development Cooperations.

"With this Crowd Innovation Challenge we want to take the next step and invite the global metaverse community to share their innovative and visionary approaches within the Metaverse spectrum." says Florian Weig, Senior Vice President Purchasing and Supplier Network Digital.

Specific Challenges for the Metaverse Supplierthon

> Vehicle Readiness:

Creating the right infrastructure with new technologies such as 5G, cloud computing and human interfaces (for example, smart glasses, wearables and biosensors) will be a critical part of this evolution. With the help of mixed reality technologies such as AR2 and VR3, IoT, machine learning and sensor technology, the physical vehicle will merge with the virtual world to enhance various touchpoints of future premium mobility.

> In-Car Experience:

Metaverse-ready vehicles will create more immersive in-car experiences. By integrating the latest trends for CE-specific devices, such as headsets, glasses and sensor systems, both driver and (rear seat) passengers will be able to interact with the vehicle in different ways and the physical and digital worlds will be merged in real time. Interoperability between different platforms will allow users access to all kinds of content in one place, creating even more interactive and personalized experiences.

> Virtual Ecosystems:

Due to its open and decentralized nature, the Metaverse not only introduces a whole new society, but also an ecosystem with new opportunities for the automotive sector. With underlying blockchain-based technologies such as cryptocurrencies, assets and smart contracts, the Metaverse opens up new business opportunities along the entire customer journey. From new businesses (for example car configurators and NFT marketplaces) to aftersales, an entirely new virtual ecosystem will be created, enabling customers to experience and engage with the brand in completely new ways.

> Methodology of a Supplierthon:

A Supplierthon is a forward-looking innovation scouting method that allows new partners to be identified and supports quick onboarding into the BMW Group ecosystem. The BMW Group has achieved significant results from past challenges, which focused on Quantum Computing, Smart Cities and Connected Car technologies. Using a peer-review process, we identify finalists with high potential. The winners of the challenge will be made public and will have the opportunity to present their solution at the BMW Group’s digitalization days.


>> Collection of single-and multiplayer games to make every waiting situation in the vehicle an entertaining experience

Munich/Zurich. Today, AirConsole and the BMW Group announced a partnership which will bring casual gaming into new BMW vehicles, starting next year. AirConsole is a gaming platform which perfectly fits with the BMW Curved Display and offers a large and diverse catalogue of games. The games are run directly inside the vehicle entertainment system. The AirConsole technology enables games to be instantly delivered over-the-air and to control them using smartphones.

"With AirConsole we will leverage innovative technologies combined with a broad variety of fun and multiplayer games. This will make every waiting situation inside the vehicle, such as charging, an enjoyable moment," said Stephan Durach – Senior Vice President BMW Group Connected Company Development.

Anthony Cliquot, CEO of N-Dream, the company behind the AirConsole brand: "We are extremely proud to spearhead gaming inside vehicles with BMW and are excited to create new games for in-car entertainment. Our ingenious architecture coupled with the ease of access of our platform will change the way people get entertained in their vehicles."

Smartphone + Screen = Console.

Setting up the gaming experience with AirConsole is seamless. Players only need a smartphone, which serves as the game controller, and the BMW Curved Display. The connection between the smartphone and the vehicle is established, for example, by scanning a QR code in the vehicle. The players can then instantly enjoy entertaining gameplay.

The BMW Group chose AirConsole as a partner via the BMW Startup Garage program.


>> Latest upgrade for BMW Digital Key and BMW Digital Key Plus

>> Cross-platform compatibility between iOS and Android

>> Key can be shared securely between iPhone and Google devices using e-mail, SMS or any other messaging service

>> Will soon also be compatible with models from Samsung

Munich. The BMW Group is continuing to drive the digitalisation of access to its vehicles in co-development with Apple and Google. It is now possible to share a BMW Digital Key across platforms between iPhone and Android devices. Previously, keys could only be shared via Apple iMessage. There is now no longer any need for a specific app or a set method of transmission. Instead, keys can be easily passed on to friends or family from the wallet using the native "share" function known from many apps.

This means that sharing a BMW Digital Key now takes the straightforward form of sending a link. The key can be sent by e-mail, SMS or any other messaging service, e.g. WhatsApp. The recipient does not require either a specific app or a BMW ID. To add the Digital Key to their wallet, they simply click on the link. If the owner and recipient are standing next to each other, the key can also be shared via Apple AirDrop or Android Nearby Share. In certain cases, an activation code may have to be entered in the vehicle for security reasons, which the sender would ideally disclose to the recipient via a different channel. Once a digital key has been received on an iPhone, the recipient can add it to an Apple Watch just as easily.

This new function is available for all new vehicles with BMW Digital Key or BMW Digital Key Plus. Older suitably equipped vehicles will be able to make full use of this feature once their software has been updated to status "22-11" or later via Remote Software Upgrade. Cross-platform sharing will initially be available for compatible iPhones and Google smartphones*, with models from Samsung set to follow shortly.

This latest upgrade is the result of a close collaboration between BMW and its partners Apple, Google and Samsung under the umbrella of the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC). It marks another milestone for the BMW Digital Key en route to complete cross-platform interoperability – and towards securing the status of smartphones as digital vehicle keys.

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