Google plans to implement an augmented reality navigation system that essentially allows you to keep your eyes focused on the road while you're driving, instead of your smartphone or GPS screen. How could I possibly know this, you ask?
Google filed and was granted, a patent on "Panoramic images within driving directions." More specifically, it involves taking well-known objects from a navigation system interface and placing them in front of a user through various means like on a windshield or with Google Glass. The objects will be displayed using 3D models, live video feeds, and panoramic media.
It's a pretty remarkable and innovative idea, and unquestionably beneficial. As it stands, you have to take your focus off the road to look at your smartphone screen or GPS screen in order to track your route, and check for any upcoming directions. This new technology will use augmented reality to place the navigation system interface in the real world, right on the exact road you're traveling.
While it's exciting to speculate about the idea of a windshield based HUD, the obvious use for technology like this is in combination with Google Glass. Google Glass allows you to do different things you can usually do on a smartphone but instead you remain totally hands free during the process.
Just imagine what it would be like if technology like this was implemented for Google Glass? It would be like wearing a pair of sunglasses in the car that open your eyes to entirely new dimensions. Then again, I'm sure in some cases it could end up being just another distraction, and we all know what happens to gadgets that distract drivers.
It will certainly be fascinating to see what car manufacturers catch on to this idea first and start implementing features that will allow drivers to make use of such technology. The idea of a windshield based HUD has long been considered an area of exploration and some companies already employ the use of similar technology. For example, some Cadillac models project speed, RPM and media playback descriptions right on the windshield.
The future is extremely bright my fellow Android enthusiasts, and honestly I can't wait.
If you want to check out some of the patent documents be sure to hit up the source link included below.