Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pimp your ride with augmented reality — Part II

Last week, I introduced you to some cool examples of augmented reality, or AR, and stated that AR can help drivers deal with the burgeoning amount of information in the car.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at some use-cases for both drivers and passengers. Remember, though, that these examples are just a taste — the possibilities for integrating AR into the car are virtually endless.

AR for the driver
When it comes to drivers, AR will focus on providing information while reducing distraction. Already, some vehicles use AR to overlay the vehicle trajectory onto a backup camera display, allowing the driver to gauge where the car is headed. Some luxury cars go one step further and overlay lane markings or hazards in the vehicle display.

Expect even more functionality in the future. In the case of a backup camera, the display might take advantage of 3D technology, allowing you to see, for example, that a skateboard is closer than the post you are backing towards. And then there is GM's prototype heads-up system, which, in dark or foggy conditions, can project lane edges onto the windshield or highlight people crossing the road up ahead:

AR can be extremely powerful while keeping distraction to a minimum. Take destination search, for example. You could issue the verbal command, “Take me to a Starbucks on my route. I want to see their cool AR cups”. The nav system could then overlay a subtle route guidance over the road with a small Starbucks logo that gets bigger as you approach your destination. The logo could then hover over the building when you arrive.

You'll no longer have to wonder if your destination is on the right or left, or if your nav system is correct when it says, “You have arrived at your destination.” The answer will be right in front of you.

AR for the passenger
So what about the passenger? Well, you could easily apply AR to side windows and allow passengers to learn more about the world around them, a la Wikitude. Take, for example, this recent video from Toyota, which represents one of the best examples of how AR could make long road trips less tedious and more enjoyable:



  1. Hi, My name is Brian and I'd like to speak with you about your blog, please email me at your earliest convenience.

  2. Hi Brian. I'll try eaching out to you -- Paul Leroux of QNX auto blog team