BMW, one of the biggest names in the car manufacturing industry, believes that augmented reality has the potential to help drivers operate vehicles more seamlessly.
On Sunday, the company demonstrated a set of prototype glasses called the Mini Augmented Vision; it is an eyewear designed for people driving cars belonging to the “BMW Mini” series.
The Mini Augmented Vision will provide drivers with a heads-up look at all hidden obstacles and directions and will also allow them to carry out hands-free text messaging. What’s more, the eyewear will even play the role of a music control.
The device, in combination with cameras embedded in the vehicle’s exterior, can provide drivers even with something similar to an X-ray vision. This unique ability of the augmented reality eyewear will allow people behind the steering wheel to see through the vehicle when parking.
These high-tech specs are compatible with the existing connected car system of BMW Mini. On the frames of these oversized glasses, you’ll find a range of fascinating technologies; these include some features we commonly find in smartphones, for instance, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS (Global Positioning System) sensors. In addition, the device will come equipped with Google’s Android operating system and a recent model of Qualcomm processor.
BMW demonstrated the product at the San Francisco event using a working prototype of the eyewear. Sources close to the company have informed that things are still very much in the demo stage, which means we might need to wait for some more months or even years to see the company launching the device for public use. The company has also not said anything about the time when we might see the Mini Augmented Vision becoming a reality.
BMW, unlike many of its competitors, is not focusing on turning its cars into fully automated units. Instead, it is working to produce technologies that will offer extra protection to drivers, but without turning cars into autonomous entities.
This working philosophy of the company reflected even in the words of Patrick McKenna, the product planning manager of BMW Mini. He said that BMW has always wanted to have people who love to drive as its customers.
In this venture, BMW has been ably supported by Qualcomm. Jay Wright, the Vice President of Qualcomm, when asked about this BMW Mini project said that he is hoping that the Mini Augmented Vision marks a turning point for this category of devices.