Volkswagen has unveiled an electric concept car called the "ID. Life." (Because they've joined the annoying trend of inserting punctuation into what's meant to be read as a single name, we'll henceforth refer to it as the ID Life.)
The unassuming exterior isn't much to write about—frankly, it looks like the renderings were done the night before the presentation, in a terrible hurry--but what the designers have envisioned for the interior is pretty radical, and again drives home the point that car brands are now trying to design for the younger generation:
"Its interior has a human touch focused on shared experiences, and its digital technology speaks directly to the needs of young target groups. Access to the vehicle is granted by means of a camera combined with facial recognition software. The interior can be transformed into a cinema or gaming lounge, thanks to a flexible seating landscape. Inductive charging trays for smartphones are integrated into the door pockets.
"…The ID LIFE is a reliable companion for digital experiences of various kinds. In no time at all, its interior can be converted into a cinema or gaming lounge, for instance. A game console and projector are on board, too, while a projection screen that extends from the dash panel as required serves as the screen. Other devices can be connected as required to the 230-volt / 16-amp power supply in the interior.
"For this purpose, the front seat backrests are folded forward to serve as leg rests for the occupants, who can make themselves comfortable on the rear seat, which is moved into a reclining position. A comfortable surface to lie down on can also be created by folding down the front and rear seat backrests completely."
It does seem strange, or perhaps wistful, that the ID Life's designers are imagining cars as a place for people to hang out and play videogames or watch movies in together. My understanding of gamers is that they prize their home set-ups, not to mention the convenience of being able to play others online without leaving the house. And I believe the prevalence of streaming services has made watching movies at home, alone, acceptable or even desirable, a trend that may persist even after the pandemic subsides. Apple's SharePlay, whereby folks can remotely stream content in synchronicity and interact with each other, might plug any social voids felt.
I suspect this might be a case of designers who aren't in the target demographic, trying to design for the target demographic. Then again, perhaps they've read the tea leaves correctly, and in future we'll all be Fortniting from parking lots.