These days, the first step in buying a new car is to go online and create a virtual model of your ideal choice, picking and mixing the colours, interiors, options and extras. When these online “configurators” were first devised, they seemed a little gimmicky, but that didn’t stop many endless hours being spent by those who may – or may not – have been thinking about a new car, as they tweaked their preferences just the way they wanted.
Now Bentley have come up with a new twist on the car configurator, which it claims will configure a new Bentley based only on your emotions – saving you the effort of browsing through the endless choice of options. It’s called the Inspirator. It’s an app available for Apple iOS devices and, in theory at least, it uses the built in camera to allow the app to analyse your facial expressions while you are guided through an eclectic video, apparently designed to trigger different emotional responses in different people.
Once the video has completed, all the data complied about your emotions is mysteriously translated into a fully specified Bentley, designed purely for you.
The concept is interesting. The app does have a feature which lets you see, in real time, how different types of emotion are recorded based on different facial responses. This gives a sense of how such technology could be incorporated into cars to monitor things like mood or drowsiness.
Results may, however, be skewed as the video is often interrupted by the app asking you to re-position yourself in front of the camera. So in some cases, frustration may seem to be the dominant emotion by the end of the exercise.
Whether or not this actually translates into the final configuration is, somewhat, irrelevant. At the end of the video, you will be presented with a fully configured Bentley which you can go on to tweak to your heart’s content. The Bentayga is the first Bentley model configurable via this app, but as time goes on, more models will be added.
The Bentley Inspirator app is available free of charge in the Apple AppStore.