Ready, Fire, Aim! - Mihail's Public Blog: Augmented Reality on your Windshield?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Augmented Reality on your Windshield?

While we love our BMW's Head-up Display technology (similar to what fighter jets and planes incorporate) that projects important information on to our windshield such as speed or directions, this story in the Wall Street Journal about "augmented reality" coming to your windshield soon is a little too much -- reminds me of the overlays that so many TV channels now use to interrupt and clutter the television screen with information that has *nothing* to do with what we're watching.  

BMW's Head-up Display from Itmash.com

On television screens it is more irritating than distracting but cars (and their drivers) need less distractions -- in the world of texting and pets and eating in the cars. Of course, the automakers have a nice spin on the subject:

Auto makers have stuffed their vehicles with a dizzying array of technology over the years, from video screens to Bluetooth wireless to air bags. But one part of the car has remained stubbornly resistant to change: the windshield.

Using a technology known as augmented reality, which overlays real world images with digital ones, these windshields could display driving directions, text messages or impending hazards, all without requiring drivers to take their eyes off the road.

"Everyone's working on this," said Tom Seder, GM's chief technologist for human machine interface. "The goal is to reduce head-down time and maybe make driving a more interactive experience."

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