Not a MINI Flying Ace

Some people may look at the hipster in this MINI and think of those Charles Schultz drawings of Snoopy sitting on top of the dog house, wearing a World War I leather flying helmet, scarf, and large goggles.

Some people may look at the hipster in this MINI and think of those Charles Schultz drawings of Snoopy sitting on top of the dog house, wearing a World War I leather flying helmet, scarf, and large goggles.

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The goggles certainly resonate.

The person here is not going after some imaginary Red Baron, but is wearing “MINI Augmented Vision powered by MINI Connected” spectacles.

This is essentially a heads-up display that uses the lenses of the glasses as the display such that information related to driving—safety alerts, driving directions—appears seemingly just above the steering wheel.

Explained Robert Richter, senor advanced technology engineer, BMW Group Technology Office, “Incorporating AR technology into the MINI Augmented Vision glasses allows for a wide range of capabilities, such as added visibility when navigating traffic, backing up, or trying to squeeze into a tight parking spot.”

When in the car, the AR glasses are integrated with the on-board MINI Connected infotainment platform and can be operated using vehicle controls, such as steering wheel buttons. When out of the car, the wearer can use the AR glasses by interfacing through a touchpad and buttons on the right temple.

The technology was developed in cooperation with Qualcomm and the glasses were designed by BMW’s Designworks. Production is performed with assistance from ODG (Osterhout Design Group).

Clearly, the Google Glass comes to mind (if Snoopy doesn’t). And as most people know, Google stopped distribution of its smart eyewear earlier this year. The general problem seems to have been one of a perception of the wearers as being uncool.

While the guy in this photo certainly looks cool enough, that’s probably a function of how he looks without the eyewear.

Many supplier companies are chasing heads-up displays and augmented reality for automotive applications, most of which are centered on the vehicle, not on the bridge of one’s nose.