Mini USA Sets its Sights on X-Ray Specs
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Mini USA Sets Its Sights on X-Ray Specs

Instead of focusing on self-driving cars, the automaker is backing augmented reality glasses that will serve mainly to let drivers get more enjoyment from piloting their own vehicle.


Mini of BMW Group has teamed up with Qualcomm to make a prototype pair of augmented reality glasses that will let drivers get more enjoyment from piloting their own vehicle, reported USA Today.

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While most automakers and some tech companies are focused on self-driving cars, Mini is trying to just keep drivers focused on the road, according to Pat McKenna, manager of product development of Mini USA.

Dubbed Mini Augmented Vision, the goggles have no consumer release date. While they have an unmistakably cartoonish look, their capability is far from a joke. Sketched out by the Osterhout Design Group, the glasses pack two stereoscopic HD displays that, using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, overlay virtual information over the real world — something many tech observers consider the Holy Grail of augmented reality.


At their simplest, the glasses provide a constant heads-up display of anything from vehicle speed to real-time street sign information. At their most outrageous, they give the driver X-ray vision, allowing them to see through the car’s doors by syncing up with outboard cameras positioned around the car.

Ultimately, the most fascinating thing about Mini’s AR project is that it represents a way for consumers to dip into the world of augmented reality gradually and privately, a lesson that Google learned the hard way with Glass considering how much its cyborg look was criticized and its wearers were ridiculed.


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