Microsoft teams up with Volkswagen to bring augmented reality to cars

Microsoft has partnered with Volkswagen to make its mixed reality headset work better in moving vehicles, like cars. As part of this effort, the company unveiled a new mode “Movable platformfor his HoloLens 2.

This will allow people to get a holographic display of various details while driving. Neither company gives exact details on how it will work, but there are some pointers on what to expect. Microsoft, for example, said the “Moving Platform” mode could be used for older drivers to handle tough road conditions.

HoloLens typically uses visible light cameras and an inertial measurement unit to measure movement. However, measurements are unreliable in moving environments, as it sees a stable environment, analogous to what we experience as motion sickness. Given this limitation, the team developed an algorithm that models the discrepancies between sensors and allows HoloLens to continue tracking.

After collaborating with Volkswagen, engineers created a prototype and tested it in real-life scenarios. It turned out to be a success and the team was then created a two-way data connection between the car and the HoloLens to display and control real-time information from the car. The team was able to place 3D elements inside and outside the car.

We have connected a positioning system that suits the location of the vehicle. This way we were also able to place 3D elements, such as information on points of interest outside the car. This opens up whole new possibilities for displaying holograms not only in the driver’s field of vision, but also wherever the user wearing the glasses is looking.says Volkswagen’s Michael Wittkämper.

Good news for the HoloLens platform

Volkswagen’s Kleen envisions augmented reality as a seamless connected mobility experience in the future. That implies that “people wear smart glasses when leaving their homes and receive information through them, from navigation assistance to entertainment, throughout their day“.

Microsoft says the mobile platform feature helps maritime companies remote experts to look through the other person’s HoloLens 2 and share their field of view in order to diagnose a problem and provide information. In addition to large ships, Microsoft is planning extend support for this feature to elevators, trains, cars and other moving environments.

This new partnership with Volkswagen could be a way to breathe new life into the HoloLens project.

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