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Monday, April 27, 2015

BMW Shows Off Smart Eyewear Called MINI Augmented Vision

Google Glass may have failed at becoming a reality but Augmented Reality (AR) devices haven't lost the battle yet. A few companies are still investing in the technology and BMW is one of them.

The automaker unveiled MINI Augmented Vision recently, a pair of smart eyeglasses which are powered by MINI Connected. The project is aimed at "fusing mobility/automotive applications with the driver-centric MINI lifestyle".

BMW made the announcement through its MINI website in a press release last week. Check out what the glasses look like...


MINI Augmented Vision comes in different color trims and features an innovative see-through display. Similar to MINI's Head-Up display technology, important driving information is overlaid directly in front of the driver. This information appears in the glasses just above the steering wheel while never impacting the driver's line of sight.

Different information like safety alerts, navigation instructions, and additional convenience functions is displayed along with a 360-degree field of vision. The technology works in sync with the MINI Connected infotainment platform.

Information Displayed

According to the press release, the following functions can be projected onto the MINI Augmented Vision...

  • Destination entry for navigation and transfer to vehicle: Selecting destination points when outside the vehicle, then transferring them to the vehicle.
  • First Mile / Last Mile: Navigation display from the current location to the vehicle or from the vehicle to the final destination.
  • Head-up display functions: Speed, speed limits etc. in the eyewear so the information is in the driver’s primary field of view, with data always shown above steering wheel so that no road users are concealed from sight.
  • Contact-analogue navigation and points of interest: Reality is enhanced by contact-analogue navigation arrows “on” the road, as well as points of interest along the route, such as open parking spaces.
  • Messaging: A small icon is shown in the eyewear when a message is received. The SMS/message can be read by the car while driving for safety.
  • X-Ray View / transparent vehicle parts: A virtual view through parts of the vehicle (such as A-pillars and doors) serves to render external areas or objects concealed by the car visible.
  • Augmented Parking: This facilitates parking by projecting the images from a camera housed in the (farside) mirror into the eyewear. In this way, the distance from the curb can be clearly and easily ascertained.

  • This technology is only a prototype at the moment and is expected to undergo testing in the coming years. BMW is also expected to display its product at various Auto Shows around the globe. Whether the MINI Augmented Vision will ever develop as an end-user product remains to be seen. The technology seems a few years away from reality.

    You can read the entire press release on the MINI USA website where a couple of demo videos are also included.

    Additional Pictures:

    Source: BMW via MINI USA

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