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Auto Show:  2011 La Auto Show

Dance with Kia's Hamster Crew - LA Auto Show

author photo by J. Mark Sternberg November 2011

Fans looking to get closer to the funky, famous Kia hamsters will get their shot at this year's LA Auto Show. The Korean carmaker has a custom display running at the show this year where people can interact with the animals digitally.

The system is composed of a sprawling white dance floor with a gigantic TV screen above.

Fans can walk out onto the floor where their image is projected on the display for all to see. The system can read a person's location, movements and even height then insert a hip-hop hamster into the display as if was out on the dance floor too.

Then as LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem booms across the show floor, the digital rodent gets down.

The augmented reality display is the work of EWI Worldwide. "We had the custom system created just for the show," said Tracy Cogswell who works for the company.

Three different hamsters can show up to get their groove on. Cogswell smiles as she points out the different animals as they come on screen, "This one is the most aggressive dancer," she says as a hamster squares off with someone for a throw-down style dance off "See? He dances right at you like 'In your face', then he stops and watches to say 'Let's see what you got?'"

Another hamster is designed specifically to dance with younger fans. When the camera sees a shorter person on the dance floor, the display conjures up an equally short hamster dancing partner- At one point, it even moves in to pat children on the head.

"We wanted to do something special for the kids," said Michael Ofiara, Kia's Public Relations Supervisor "It's great to get people involved, and get kids involved with the brand that way. And people love the hamsters."

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Dance with Kia's Hamster Crew - LA Auto Show - Autotrader