MINI has unveiled a new concept for the Shanghai Auto Show, based around a style of virtual reality goggles.
Called ‘Augmented Vision’, MINI developed the concept in partnership with tech company Qualcomm and says it aims to “enhance comfort and safety” while connecting the driver with the car.
While wearing the goggles, drivers can see navigation instructions, points of interest and SMS messaging along with current speed and speed limits like a head-up display.
The goggles also allow navigation to commence before the driver reaches the car and continue once the car can take the driver no further, in what MINI calls its “First Mile / Last Mile” system.
Owners can take a guided tour of the hidden parts of their MINI using an x-ray vision setting, and the goggles assist with reverse parking by offering a view of the car’s nearside via a side-mounted camera.
MINI says the goggles improve safety by transmitting data to the driver without requiring them to look away from the road, and without reducing forward visibility.
“MINI Augmented Vision gives an insight into how intelligent connectivity between a MINI car and eyewear into which relevant content is projected might work in the future,” MINI’s Dr Jörg Preißinger said.
“We have created an interlinked system and augmented reality eyewear with a characteristic MINI design that revolutionise the experience both in and outside the vehicle. This prototype with its customised, interactive functions succeeds in fusing augmented reality with the brand’s trademark sense of lifestyle.”
No word from MINI as to whether the concept will become available to customers in the future, but as the world grapples with the legality of wearable computers - such as Google Glass - while driving, expect a lengthy wait at the very least.
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