While the promise of Google Glass quickly shattered, the concept of using eyewear as a display medium is far from being abandoned.
The latest experimental entry in the field comes from BMW's Mini brand, which will introduce a prototype of 'MINI Augmented Vision' at the Auto Shanghai motor show, which opens to the media on April 20 and the public on April 22.
“MINI Augmented Vision gives an insight into how intelligent connectivity between a MINI car and eyewear into which relevant content is projected might work in the future,” explained Dr. Jörg Preißinger, project-manager for the concept at, BMW Group research and technology.
In addition to displaying relevant vehicle information, the AR (Augmented Reality) eyewear shows relevant information in the driver’s direct field of vision using see-through technology, without concealing other road users or objects.
Functions projected into the field of view with MINI Augmented Vision, include:
> Head-up display functions: Display of speed, speed limits etc. in the eyewear so the information is in the driver’s primary field of view, with data always shown in the same place above the steering wheel to make sure that no road users are concealed from sight.
> Contact-analog navigation and points of interest: Reality is enhanced by contact-analog navigation arrows “on” the road, as well as display of points of interest along the route, such as open parking spaces. The driver´s attention can always stay focused on the traffic.
> Messaging: A small icon is shown in the eyewear when a message is received. The SMS/message can then be read out by the car while driving for safety.
> X-Ray View / transparent vehicle parts: A virtual view through parts of the vehicle (such as A-pillars and doors) serves to render external areas or objects concealed by the car visible.
> Destination entry for navigation and transfer to vehicle: Selecting destination points when outside the vehicle, then transferring them to the vehicle.
> Augmented Parking: This facilitates parking by projecting the images from a camera housed in the (farside) mirror into the eyewear. In this way, the distance from the curb can be clearly and easily ascertained.
> First Mile / Last Mile: Navigation display from the current location to the vehicle or from the vehicle to the final destination.
The design and colour-concept of the eyewear were created by (BMW) Designworks for MINI and the research staff worked with several Qualcomm companies to create the interlinked system and augmented reality eyewear.
MINI Augmented Vision was developed in collaboration with several Qualcomm companies.
“MINI Augmented Vision offers a compelling example of what’s possible today, and what we can expect in the future,” said Jay Wright, vice-president of Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc.