To explain how each E-Prix is a testing ground for Enel’s technological innovation, we created a metaphorical urban environment where the main road begins as the circuit track of an electric car race, then gradually turns into a smart city’s main street. The cutting-edge solutions that make Formula E races so exciting turn into the smart products and services that make people’s life better.
A swarm of dots that visually represent energy flows changes shape and color to showcase data received from smart meters installed around the circuit, but also respond to visitors’ simple gestures thanks to Kinect technology.
At the New York City E-Prix, we needed to explain what Demand Energy’s intelligent energy storage technology was all about: so we built a simulator that lets users manage the energy demand of an average house, merging physical experience with digital interaction.
Users switch electrical devices on and off by moving tokens on a physical tray, seeing the energy curve re-adjust depending on whether or not Demand Energy’s storage is connected to the grid.
We designed the app starting from the smallest – yet most exciting – element, the Formula E race car. Wanting users to explore the 3D space, we developed the scene in a shader-based webGL environment. To get the most realistic look, we applied PBR materials and HDR lighting maps to the car. In contrast, we gave the space around the car a more minimal look with a custom toon shader.
Enel made an extremely varied set of information available: energy aspects of the race, technical specs of the cars, community projects, services promoting e-mobility. We treated all content so that users could visualize it through the same “flashcard” layout, always making sure the most technical data was associated with a simple comparison, allowing the audience to relate with the figures.
We envisioned a futuristic smart city, customized for each E-Prix by adding new features and characters. The buildings in the forefront are the main landmarks of the host city, and targets – from Mexican luchadores to race pilots, from street artists to school kids – often reveal information about Enel’s projects in the country or area.