I Need your Clothes, Your Boots and Your Augmented Vision

POSTED BY Steffen Sorrell

BMW’s subsidiary, Mini, has developed what it calls Augmented Vision eyewear. The concept device; rather waspy in appearance; brings with it something that was once only possible through diligent token cereal box token collection: X-Ray vision. But it’s not just any X-Ray vision (kudos: Jony). It actually works via cameras and the AR (augmented reality) eyewear.

AR Innovation in the Works

On a more serious note, the automotive industry has been making great strides of late within the field of AR, with notable players such as Jaguar, Audi, Hyundai, Pioneer, Nvidia and Continental all in the race to produce an AR HUD (head-up display) and systems for commercial vehicles. Regular HUDs are already in existence of course, albeit with limited functionality beyond displaying dashboard read-outs and navigational info at fixed points.

AR in the vehicle takes this information to the next level: precise overlays indicating lane and route information, hazards ahead and so on. The driver doesn’t need to look away from the road, ergo this technology, if well-implemented, could potentially be life-saving.

Mini’s solution takes the fixed HUD concept even further, in that in-vehicle AR will be with the driver beyond just the road ahead. Nonetheless, as we examine in our latest AR research, display rendering latency will be a key issue to solve, lest even the driver will be forced to reach for the sick-bag; and, things aren’t quite there yet.

Looking at the potential application of AR, its development as a utility will be crucial to its success. So far in the world of consumer AR, the technology hasn’t decided where it wants to be. That, with the help of Mini & Co., is now beginning to change.