Do you remember the news we gave some time ago about MINI’s new Augmented Reality goggles? The idea is amazing and it is the new path that the automotive industry is seeming to walk through in the future. As we saw previously, other than being stylish, these new glasses can help the driver have a lot more information: they will always be connected with the car and the eyewear will show relevant data in the driver’s direct field of vision without compromise the actual seeing of the road.

Ok, good idea, and very easy to get for those that already know what they are talking about. But what in the case that someone has never heard of Augmented Reality? How do you explain it to them?

Easy, if you can count on a company as the Paris-based Ill-Studio: them, together with MINI, decided to create a tutorial about this new field, and to do it in the manner that everyone can get it.

We all agree to be living in a real world, right? But what if there is more reality than what the human eye can see? The short documentary “Another reality” gives a pop and fake-old-style lesson on reality and relativity of it, taking us directly to the point: what Augmented Reality is.

Reality is a series of perceptions we all agree to be true, and Augmented Reality is simply a digital layer superimposed over our direct environment creating symbiosis between virtual and analog. Now we can perceive more than our eyes can see. You still don’t get it? Watch the video for examples.

At the next Shanghai Motor Show, that will take place from 22th to 29th April 2015, among the other surprises there is a very interesting one, that is not just only for motors’ lovers: MINI announced their new Augmented Reality goggles prototype, called Augmented Vision.

The first thing that we can notice is the bizarre look of the headset: they seem a mix between vintage aviator goggles and Google glass. Then, reading the press release, we know the other features, proper of the Augmented Reality.

The car and the goggles will be always connected and the eyewear will show relevant information in the driver’s direct field of vision but without concealing other road users, thereby serving to increase safety and comfort while driving.

Inside the driver’s field of vision, there will be these functions:

  • 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: Display of speed, speed limits etc. in the eyewear so the information is in the driver’s primary field of view, with data always shown in same place above steering wheel to make sure 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 display of points of interest along the route, such as open parking spaces. The driver´s attention can always stay focused on the traffic.
  • Messaging: A small icon is shown in the eyewear when a message is received. The SMS/message can then be read out 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.

Of course, we don’t have yet a release date or many other information. We’ll keep you informed as MINI will say something more.

See more in this video: