How BMW’s Augmented Reality Glasses Will Change Your World

At the Auto Shanghai 2015 Show, German luxury automobile maker BMW unveiled its take on augmented reality glasses.

The concept, dubbed “Mini Augmented Vision,” is currently a research prototype that allows drivers to see navigation details, speed and other essential information. BMW teamed up with Qualcomm as well as Osterhout Design Group to develop the augmented reality eyewear.


The frames are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, which features inertial sensors and cameras. The frames also features two stereoscopic HD displays, three-dimensional visions, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS technology.


The way it works is a Mini app runs on the glasses both inside and outside the vehicle. Inside the automobile, the augmented vision is linked to Mini Connected and other operating controls such as steering-wheel buttons, etc. Inside the vehicle, the motorist is able to control certain functions with a turn of the head. Outside the vehicle, individuals are able to operate the glasses through a touchpad that is located at the right temple. In addition, with the app, drivers will be able to receive bonus information such as a description on historic buildings or museum exhibits when the camera is facing them.



Some of the functions of the Mini Augmented Vision eyewear, as stated by the German automobile company, include:

Destination entry for navigation and transfer to vehicle: Users can select addresses as journey destinations when outside the vehicle as well as inside the vehicle. When looking at a poster for an event, for example, the event venue is flashed up and can be confirmed as a possible navigation destination. Upon the user’s return to the MINI, this destination is automatically transferred to the vehicle for route guidance.

First Mile / Last Mile: This function aids the driver in searching for a parking spot and notifies the driver of the distance from the actual destination. The MINI Augmented Vision can guide the driver from the parked vehicle to the final destination even if the driver is traveling on foot.

MINI Augmented Vision shows vehicle speed, speed limits and similar driving-relevant information in the driver’s primary field of vision.

X-Ray view: This makes it possible to see concealed areas, such as the blind spot when turning right.

“MINI Augmented Vision was developed as a research prototype to demonstrate the potential of linking up visionary AR glasses to vehicles,” explains Dr. Jörg Preißinger, Project Manager for MINI Augmented Vision, BMW Group Research and Technology. “In future, the system will continue to be developed and honed with the aim of turning the vision into reality.”

While drivers will be able to have text messages and emails read out loud, BMW reassures the technology will direct the motorist without obscuring the driver as well as other drivers.

(Photos via BMW)