The latest BlackBerry PlayBook has been integrated into Renault’s latest concept electric car and turns it into an innovative office on wheels, doubling up as a commerical vehicle plus passenger car.
For business users on the road, the ultra-portable BlackBerry PlayBook simply plugs into the dashboard, delivers advanced performance, uncompromised web browsing, with support for Adobe® Flash®, HD multimedia and advanced security features and out of the box enterprise support.
Connecting directly into the centre console, its 7 inch touchscreen is easy to operate and as soon as it is plugged in, becomes an integral element of the vehicle, configuring itself into the Renault environment, but also allowing work to continue when the device is removed.
BlackBerry PlayBook also plays an important role in the customization of the vehicle, transforming the exterior screen and controlling useful messages or information and can also be used as a mobile advertising board, either while parked or on the move. Come the weekend, the vehicle transforms itself into a family vehicle, with a comfortable passenger seat and, in the rear, a big bench seat. Children can watch a film or play games on the touch-sensitive pad which slides out from the back of the driver’s seat. They can even draw on a special slate integrated into the sliding door.
On the passenger’s side, there’s no glazing and no centre pillar, just one conventional door and one sliding side door which incorporates a 37-inch widescreen display. This is the world of work. The driver’s side, complete with side windows, still no centre pillar, but with centre opening doors represents the world of the family. Ease of loading and ease of entry go without saying in both worlds!
Exterior designer, Deyan Denkov: "The concept of an asymmetric body design was the most logical way to express this vehicle’s two roles. From the very start, I wanted to move away from the traditional format for commercial vehicles and, in doing so, show that this type of vehicle could also be more emotional, more dynamic and more attractive. I took inspiration from a wide variety of sources, including unconventionally shaped aircraft such as the Airbus Beluga and the Antonov 224.”
On weekdays, FRENDZY is a vehicle that adapts to the requirements of the business user, with a large external screen that can display useful messages or information (such as “making deliveries” or “back in five minutes”, the battery-charging method or the remaining charge) or advertising messages, either whilst parked or on the move. Come the weekend, the vehicle transforms itself into a family vehicle, with a comfortable passenger seat and, in the rear, a big bench seat. Depending on their mood of the moment, children can watch a film or play games on the touch-sensitive pad which slides out from the back of the driver’s seat. They can even draw on a special slate integrated into the sliding door.
The driver, likewise, can adapt the vehicle to his or her needs. In ‘work’ mode, the rear-view mirrors sit upright and the interior lighting is green; in ‘family’ mode, the mirrors swivel round to the horizontal position and the interior is bathed in a radiant orange ambience. Coloured repeater lights in the headlamps and tail lights provide an external indication of the mode in which FRENDZY is operating.
The driver’s side cockpit is designed along the theme of a futuristic ‘work bench’ featuring a structure which appears to be made from molten metal. Green light emanating from the dashboard brings this smooth and organic architecture to life. These lights signify the ‘work’ mode and tie in with the colour displayed on the exterior of the vehicle.
In the ‘family’ mode, the atmosphere becomes warmer as the green lights turn orange – a subtle reference to the colour of the previous concept car, the family-oriented R-Space.
Dominant throughout is the sense that the interior forms a cosy cabin which echoes the simple yet practical world of camping, and this is further reflected by extensive use of wood. Indeed, as much a symbol of warmth as it is of strength and timelessness, wood forms a link between the two modes. The leather latticework seats and removable accessories also refer to the camping metaphor.
Antoine Génin, Design Director, Interior and Colour/Materials: "Our research into materials centred on the area where the technology of industry meets the cosy softness of the family nest. This modern combination of wood and metal picks up on Renault’s strategic design values of simplicity, sensuousness and warmth.”
On a practical level, the fabric roof adapts itself to the shape of bulky objects, magnetic fixings allow the load to be secured to the floor, and modular stowage systems are a practical bonus for business users. The single-piece rear seat is integrated into the floor, while the front seat folds forward in order to free up space. Thanks to its practical, modular interior, FRENDZY lends itself perfectly to the requirements of traders and tradesmen.
Interior designer Ana Zadnik explains: “The interior of the vehicle reflects its double identity: on the one hand, it provides a roomy, uncluttered cargo carrying space and, on the other hand, a space that’s fun and interactive and which seats up to four people. The organic volumes of the dashboard and rear door panels are extruded by strikingly shaped “nozzles”, which become “receptors” for accessories, which can be plugged directly into the dashboard and door panels.”