BMW i: A Window Into the Near Future

BMW i: A Window Into the Near Future

A window whose reflection reveals the future of cars.

by BMW North America

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The Story

The upcoming BMW i vehicles are very futuristic looking. But amazingly, they'll be seen on the road as soon as late 2013. With the BMW i Born Electric Tour making its stop in New York City, we wanted to create an innovative way to create awareness of BMW i, drive people inside the event and reinforce the message that the future is closer than you think. We turned a street-level window at the event location into a digital reflection of passing traffic, transforming the passing cars into BMW i3s and i8s to give passersby a glimpse into the near future. Real BMW i vehicles could be seen inside.

  • BMW i: A Window Into the Near Future

We began with the idea of turning live traffic into BMW i vehicles in a window’s reflection. The challenge revolved around creating that illusion. Using a learned background ensured the reflection of Bryant Park across the street matched the number of leaves left on the trees, the holiday vendors, etc. Then, using blob-detection technology, we transformed vehicles and matched their speed and behavior with BMW i vehicles. Adding to the realism, we also detected yellow vehicles and projected them as passing taxis. This enhanced the one-to-one relationship of live traffic and projected vehicles.

The Technology

  • Display
  • Open GL

The Results

Launch date: November 12, 2012

The window reflection’s ability to mirror passing cars was a key part of the illusion – without it, the idea would not have been clear to passersby. During its live dates, November 9-17, we digitally transformed 307,065 passing cars and tracked 335,548 people walking directly by the window. In addition, it created greater awareness through a YouTube video (over 250,000 views in a week) and press coverage, including articles by, and It proved to be advertising that was as innovative as the vehicles it promoted.


number of total miles run by the PM to launch site after hurricane shut down mass transit


number of freak nor’easter storms hitting the city after a hurricane and days before launch


number of 40,000-lumen Barco projectors available in the U.S.

The Team

  • Ed Brojerdi, President & Co-Chief Creative Officer
  • Izzy DeBellis, Co-Chief Creative Officer
  • DJ Pierce, Executive Creative Director

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