MINI unveils Augmented Vision eyewear at Auto Shanghai Show

Article by Andrew Christian, on April 14, 2015

MINI is giving us a glimpse of the future at the Auto Shanghai show with the launch of its augmented reality interface between eyewear and the automobile dubbed as the MINI Augmented Vision. Dr. Jörg Preißinger, project-manager MINI Augmented Vision, BMW Group research and technology, said that this device offers an insight on how this pioneering augmented reality interface between eyewear and the MINI can be relevant in the future.

He added that MINI has collaborated with Qualcomm companies and built an interlinked system and eyewear that could “revolutionize the experience both in and outside the vehicle.” He also pointed out how MINI’s trademark sense of lifestyle has been fused in this prototype.

The AR eyewear uses see-through technology and improves safety and comfort during driving as it displays relevant information in the direct field of vision without hiding other road users.

MINI Augmented Vision projects these functions into the driver’s field of view:

- Destination entry for navigation and transfer to vehicle: Choosing destination points when outside the vehicle then moving them to the vehicle.

- First Mile / Last Mile: Navigation display from the present location to the vehicle or from the vehicle to the last destination. - Head-up display functions: The eyewear shows speed, speed limits etc. so the information is in the primary field of view. No road users are hidden since the information is always shown in same place above steering wheel.

- Contact-analogue navigation and points of interest: The eyewear shows contact-analogue navigation arrows “on” the road to enhance reality. There is also a display of points of interest along the route, like open parking spaces for example. One’s attention doesn’t have to deviate from the traffic.

- Messaging: Upon receiving a message, a small icon is seen in the eyewear. Safety isn’t an issue since the SMS/message can then be read out by the car.

- X-Ray View / transparent vehicle parts: Concealed external areas or objects are made visible via a virtual view through parts of the vehicle (such as A-pillars and doors).

- Augmented Parking: Images from a camera held in the (farside) mirror are projected into the eyewear. By doing this, the distance from the curb can be clearly and easily determined Designworks for MINI is responsible for the eyewear’s design and color concept.

MINI Augmented Vision has been developed in collaboration with several Qualcomm companies. Jay Wright, Vice President, Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc. expressed how proud the company was in helping develop this “breakthrough augmented reality interface between eyewear and the automobile.” [source: MINI]

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