MINI AR Glasses Debut In Shanghai

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BMW Unveils Conceptual Augmented Reality Glasses

This week at the Shanghai Auto Show, BMW subsidiary MINI unveiled their newest AR glasses, MINI Augmented Vision, a conceptual stage AR glasses that aims to enhance driving experience.

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The Mini AR glasses has 2GB of RAM and a Qualcomm 805 Snapdragon processor running off Android 4.4 and Vuforia. Integrated with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS sensors, and a 5MP camera housed in the front of the glasses.

Driver can view the navigation data, speed & speed limits, points of interest, and message notifications from a connected smartphone.  The user does not need to swipe or use voice command to view the messages. You simply hit a button on the steering to have the messages projected to you. The goal is that you never have to look away from the road. The information is fed to your eyeball.

What’s makes the AR glasses unique is that information is “projected” into the driver’s FOV (field of view) rather than “displayed” like the Google Glass.  

One interesting feature is “augmented parking”, where a camera projects its view into the AR glasses, making finding the curb much easier. The glasses is also capable to capture and record specific locations while on foot, aiding with driving navigation when the user returns to the car.

The most stunning feature is the “X-Ray View,” which makes solid parts around the car transparent so the user can see pedestrians and surrounding environment that normally would be covered by their own car.

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“A MINI app runs on the glasses both inside and outside the vehicle. Inside the vehicle, MINI Augmented Vision is linked up with MINI Connected and operated using controls in the vehicle, such as the steering-wheel buttons. When outside the vehicle, the AR glasses can be operated with the controls on the right temple, comprising a touchpad on the top and three buttons on the bottom.”

“When in the vehicle, the driver is even able to control certain functions of the glasses with a simple turn of the head. While parking, for example, the glasses will show external camera views of the wheels when the driver turns their head toward the appropriate wheel. Eye-tracking or voice control have not been integrated as yet, but are certainly a feasible option for future applications.”

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When I first heard about this BMW AR glass, we thought for sure that the glasses would only be compatible with cars in the BMW family. I was surprised to learn that the glasses could potentially work with any vehicle that is “suitably equipped.”

The design of the glasses still seem bulky and conceptual. We still have no idea when the new BMW MINI AR glasses will be made available to the market. It’s not even in production yet.

Source: The Verge, Engadget, TechRadar, Cio.com, Gizmag

Author: VR Reporter

I am a hi-tech enthusiast, VR evangelist, and a Co-founder & Chief Director at Virtual Reality Reporter!

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