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Open a virtual Mercedes with your own keys in this ad

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An ad in a Berlin subway used a radio receiver to let car owners "unlock" pictures of a Mercedes-Benz with their own keys.

Mercedes Car Key Ad
Mercedes Car Key Ad

Passengers in Berlin's Friedrichstrasse underground station were recently treated to a clever use of augmented reality. In order to demonstrate the capacity of its new car, Mercedes-Benz set up a radio receiver that recognized wireless signals from car keys, letting passerby "unlock" pictures of the car on digital displays by pressing their own car's unlock button. Once they did, the screen would play a clip of the door opening and something — robots, bodybuilders, or troupes of dancers — emerging from the car. You can check out the ad, along with a quick explanation of how the underlying tech was set up, in the video below.