The latest Mercedes-Benz outdoor campaign got their upcoming zero-emission vehicle noticed - by making it vanish using smart LED technology.
Image: Mercedes-Benz "Invisible F-Cell Tour"
Mercedes-Benz came up with an unusual way to get their upcoming hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the F-Cell, noticed in their latest outdoor campaign. They overtly flaunted the hatchback on an 'F-Cell tour' across Germany for a week. Why was it different? It was invisible.
There is of course no Harry Potter-style 'Invisibility Cloak' and there is always some clever technology behind stunts like this. Mercedes achieved this 'hidden' effect by using optical camouflage expertise to cover the driver's side of the car with a veil of special LED matting.
The LEDs were paired to a Canon 5D Mark II camera mounted on the opposite side of the car, which transmitted the video footage. As a result, they were able to simultaneously capture footage on one side of the car and display it on the other end, making the F-Cell, in effect, invisible.
As the car moved, the German public were able to see their 'reflections' in the car in this real-time camouflage effect. The vehicle also flashed bright colours when in a standstill position on the road as well as occasionally displaying the words "Für Die Umwelt unsichtbar. F-Cell mit 0,0 Emissionen." ("Invisible to the environment. F-Cell with 0.0 emissions.") in the LED lights.
With the hydrogen powered car's zero exhaust emissions, the campaign was created to emphasise the F-Cell's 'invisibility' to the environment. Most manufacturers are still testing the technology so consumers won't expect to get their hands on one any time soon.
Members of the public were wowed and bewildered by the visual effect of the campaign, many gathering around the car to create their own reflections in the LEDs.
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Image: Mercedes-Benz used LED matting to camouflage
Video: Mercedes-Benz "Invisible Car"