26 Jun 2019

Augmented reality dashboards: could they become a reality?

Digital dashboards projected on our windscreens are coming
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It is the stuff of science fiction, but augmented reality dashboards could be making their way to vehicles in the very near future.

Augmented reality was introduced to the global mainstream in a massive way through the smash hit game Pokémon GO which was released for connected devices in 2016.

The game was simple in design, you would use your device's camera to view the real world with Pokémon characters digitally laid on top for players to collect.

Since then, augmented reality (AR) has taken off in a range of industries.

Gatwick Airport in London uses AR functionality to give passengers easy access to information and mapping around the terminal. Swedish furniture giant IKEA uses AR to allow people to digitally place items in their home to see if it suits their space and needs. AR even allows health students to train in digital environments.

The potential is almost limitless and that includes the automobile industry, where AR is being engineered to change the way we view our dash.

Building on recent innovations

Connected cars are not new, with several internet connected devices already being built into car dashes.

These include screens that display maps with GPS tracking, connection to streaming services like the music platform Spotify and other innovation.

AR would be an extension of this, effectively making the windscreen a giant screen with information overlaid in safe, but easy to read places.

Effectively, it would be like the heads up displays you see in racing car video games.

Porsche and Hyundai have invested heavily in the technology, combining with JVC Kenwood and others to an $80 million injection into Swiss firm WayRay.

They are working on AR technology that would be roadworthy, currently showing test models that show video game features like racing lines, braking points, speed and lap times.

In the future, this technology could show useful information to motorists including rolling directions, free car parks and hazards.

They are not the only ones developing the technology, with Apple also heavily invested in a system that would project data from iPhones onto the windscreen via the vehicle's infotainment system.

The future is coming, with AR technologies like these and more likely to be unveiled soon.

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