What it is: WayRay has announced an augmented reality windshield to help you drive more efficiently.
Augmented reality applies virtual objects over reality. The simplest example is Pokemon GO that overlays cartoon Pokemon monsters over the real images you see through a smartphone camera. While using a smartphone or tablet for augmented reality is fine, it does have the drawback of forcing you to hold a smartphone or tablet in front of your eyes to see it.
That’s why the real future of augmented reality lies in applying it on screens that won’t force you to constantly hold a smartphone or tablet in front of your face whenever you want to see it. The first obvious way to do this is through smart glasses, which will come eventually when processing power improves and can be miniaturized in a device light enough for eyeglasses. The second obvious approach for augmented reality is to apply it on car windshields.
For decades, fighter pilots have used heads-up displays (HUD) because taking your eyes off your target to look at your instrument panel risks losing sight of your target. The moment you lose sight of your target, you risk getting shot down yourself. That’s why HUD lets pilots see critical data on their cockpit glass without taking their eyes off anything they’re following.
Since most people aren’t flying planes, but driving cars, it makes sense to apply augmented reality on car windshields. Now drivers can see driving directions on the windshield instead of looking down at their smartphone or tablet. This increases safety while giving drivers the information they need.
Expect augmented reality to keep improving on smartphones and tablets until smart glasses and smart windshields become commonplace. Once augmented reality becomes common place, people will owner how anyone ever got along without it, just like today’s generation can’t imagine living back in the day when telephones were connected to cords and computers didn’t exist.