Virtual reality forms the perfect playground for life's adventurers. Framestore VR Studio present Trailscape, a 4D, motion-tracked, multi-sensory experience that created a hike like no other for Merrell and the brand's adrenalin-fuelled customer base.
Framestore VR Studio's challenge lie in creating an experience for the launch of the new Merrell Capra, the most technically advanced hiking shoe yet. Framestore worked with agency Hill Holiday to design a virtual reality world in which the capabilities of the kit were showcased in extreme scenarios – the kind of landscapes that would really speak to Merrell’s thrill-seeking, outdoor-loving audience. As always, the VR Studio were also looking to push the available technology to its very limits to bring about something truly groundbreaking – in this case, something that had never been done before.
The Merrell Capra shoe was named after the Capra mountain goat – a free-spirited creature known for its hardy ability to take on treacherous landscapes, with ease. Merrell’s customers too, are adventurous types, driven by a desire to see, feel and tackle new ground. A VR experience tailored to these thrill-seekers would need to eclipse the high-tempo activities taken on by these people in their daily lives, and showcase Merrell’s brand commitment to awe-inspiring nature.
'You know you've designed a good Oculus Rift virtual reality experience when people emerge from it squealing in delight, knees trembling.'Tim Nudd, AdWeek
The Big Idea
Trailscape marked the first ever commercial use of an in-motion Oculus Rift experience. This was the only time users had been able to walk the paths shown to them in the Oculus headset, getting an incredible feel for the ‘landscape’ around them.
Motion capture technology allowed our adventurers to explore the mountainside, with tactile elements such as rope walkways and shaking wooden planks underfoot driving the immersive nature of the piece to the absolute max. They were faced with mini-crises en route – the rockfall of a landslide, a precarious summit – which saw them dabble in scenarios beyond the confines of their typical hikes.