Oxford, England - Mini has made a portable, wearable version of the head-up displays it offers in some of its cars. And it even has x-ray vision.
Called Mini Augmented Vision, the concept gadget is to be demonstrated at next week’s Auto Shanghai show.
Head-up displays in modern cars are becoming ever more common as a way of giving drivers speed information and navigation instructions on the windscreen, placing it in their line of sight with minimum distraction.
Now, instead of the info being shown on the windscreen, Mini is projecting it onto a pair of glasses worn by the driver. Much like the Glass eyewear that Google has been working on for the past few years, Mini Augmented Vision shows relevant information in the driver’s direct field of vision but without concealing other road users, thereby increasin safety and convenience while driving.
Information such as speed and speed limits is displayed in the eyewear, along with navigation instructions and points of interest, as well as open parking spaces.
The benefit over a windscreen-based head-up display is that drivers can use the glasses to select their destination entry on the satnav even before getting into the vehicle. Also, the glasses will guide them to their car if they’ve misplaced it in a crowded parking lot.
The glasses have a messaging function, displaying a small icon when a message is received. The SMS/message can then be read out by the car while driving.
An Augmented Parking function projects the images from a car-mounted camera into the eyewear, helping you to park without thumping into kerbs.
And the x-ray vision? The high-tech glasses give a virtual view through parts of the vehicle (such as A pillars and doors) to make external areas or objects concealed by the car visible.
A spokesman says Mini Augmented Vision offers a compelling example of what’s possible today, and what we can expect in the future, but didn’t mention when the device might go into production. It’s just a concept for now.