Augmented road trips for kids

An ingenious app from an automotive brand turns car journeys into magical stories for young passengers

For kids, road trips just got more interesting. In the past they were forced to stare out of the window as the landscape spooled past, perhaps playing the occasional game of “I spy” between demanding “Are we there yet?” or insisting that they needed to pee. Later, they became riveted to tablet devices and ignored the outside altogether.
But Volkswagen and its Netherlands agency Achtung have combined past and present to come up with a futuristic solution. Not only that, it stimulates kids’ imaginations and engages them with the journey. By using geo-localisation, the app tells stories that are perfectly adapted to the route being taken: bridges, buildings and other landmarks are woven in to the narrative, making what’s going on outside not just interesting, but thrilling. The app has been praised by the industry for its creative use of data. And by parents for amusing their tots during long drives.