Google Glass may be dead, but Mini is picking up the awkward, mildly creepy faceputer torch and running with it. It's called Mini Augmented Vision and they'll give you x-ray vision.

Developed by BMW Designworks and debuting at the Shanghai auto show, the techno-Elvis goggles are intended to be worn all the time. Naturally, they're primarily designed for use in the car – showing navigation, a head-up display, and other pseudo useful features – but they've also been created to work in other environments, like an art gallery.

Here are all the features Mini says its AR shades are packing:

  • 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.

So, not x-ray vision all the time, but still… cool?

Mini isn't saying anything about production, but it did work with Qualcomm on the project, which has toyed with wearable stuff in the past. And Mini wouldn't be alone in the market, with its siblings at BMW, as well as Audi and Hyundai, all doing something with smartwatches.

Ok. Not cool at all.


Contact the author at damon@jalopnik.com.
Public PGP key
PGP fingerprint: 7301 D7FC 2FF6 D437 E5A7 0568 3A14 624A 1800 4C85