Our lives have become more limited during the past 18 months. We have been restricted, confined and bound. Escapism has been sought through digital means, portals to safer places, scenarios to explore, and to roam free, all from the comfort of our homes.
We are now re-emerging from our lock down lives. Eager to explore and rediscover. Also apprehensive about what we might find.
Play is important. Discovery is important. Adventure is important.
The London-based SAIC Design has revealed the radical new Maze concept which aims to open the concept of mobility experience to a new generation. Taking inspiration from the culture of gaming and reimagining mobile games for the 21st century.
Inspired from a simple concept of capturing the ‘at home’ gaming scenario and conveying that in the form of a car was our key objective with MAZE. The layout, details, colour material are all driven by this idea to help connect and build a community around a mobility activity.
MAZE is a bold and brave concept that celebrates the real and digital worlds, where drivers are players in a real world treasure hunt of digital art in their cities. MAZE intends to bring back driving fun to electrified cars, and not just simply exploring the A to B journey.
At the heart of MAZE is a familiar layout. A couch/sofa, a controller and a screen. Our objective was to emulate this comfortable situation into a vehicle that was equally exciting to look at as it was to use.
The exterior design is inspired by gaming hardware, high tech computers that show off their components and celebrate their processing power. The full polycarbonate exterior shell acts a window both into the car and also for the players to see their world in full view. The surface is pure and emotional in line with MG design values.
The front opening canopy configuration presents the interior space in a unique way, reducing the footprint of the vehicle in urban spaces. Like jumping onto a sofa in a lounge, the seats present themselves to aid entry and exit via the front of the car. MG MAZE conveys a real gaming experience through its open cockpit layout which offers a full panoramic view of the environment.
The 2 seat configuration gives players a chance to collaborate and compete in a social and interactive way. The ZERO gravity seat design also features a lightweight aesthetic with a transparent shell and high-tech fabric cushioning, taking inspiration from contemporary streetwear.
The chassis of the car is visible as a carrier for the technical componentry, and houses the motors and interchangeable battery at the rear in a ‘plug and play’ style configuration. Components such as the GPU, CPU and even cooling are visible and displayed as a key part of the overall aesthetic.
Drivers, or Players, can now ride along using their phones as the access and control points for the car. A sophisticated User Interface covers the whole front of the car, with a 3D map, avatar status, and mission information, which leads to the overlaying of images and digital content from the occupant’s perspective. The reductive nature of the physical design and layout allows the UI to be much more immersive than we would usually find on a car interior.
The discovery of ‘easter eggs’ in the game allows players to build their status, which is displayed on the lighting aspects on the side of the car. The once familiar surroundings are transformed to interactive, dynamic and expressive art pieces that give a visceral experience to urban mobility again. Players can score points, and earn rewards through the game community.
MG MAZE is an attempt to engage and create a positive experience for urban mobility. Playful and agile, the concept seeks to be truly engaging, across all ages, cultures and interests.