In a collaborative research project, the BMW Group Technology Office USA in Mountain View and Meta’s Reality Labs Research have been evaluating ways in which augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can be integrated into the cabins of smart, next-generation vehicles.
The companies have demonstrated that it is possible to accurately display stable VR and MR content to passengers in a fast-moving car – even when travelling at speed, making turns or going over speed bumps. This was achieved by integrating Meta Quest’s tracking system with the German OEM’s sensor data to deliver “car-locked” gaming, entertainment, productivity and meditation functions for passengers.
“It is too early to tell exactly how or when this technology will make it into customers’ hands, but we envision a number of potential use cases for XR devices in vehicles — from assisting the driver in locating their car in a crowded parking lot to alerting them to hazards on the road and surfacing important information about the vehicle’s condition,” explained Claus Dorrer, head of BMW Group Technology Office USA in Mountain View.
“The implications of future AR glasses and VR devices — for passengers as well as drivers — are promising. The research partnership with Meta will allow us to discover what immersive, in-vehicle XR experiences could look like in the future and spearhead the seamless integration of such devices into cars.”
Richard Newcombe, vice president of research science, Reality Labs Research, added, “Our research prototype shows that we can enable entertaining and comfortable passenger experiences that are anchored to the car itself, including VR and MR gaming, entertainment, productivity, and even meditation capabilities.
“ The technology has the potential to transform how we can safely interact with our environment while traveling, and as we progress into reliable world-locked content on the road to AR glasses, we’re hopeful it will be possible for passengers to see things like markers for landmarks, restaurants, places of interest, and more.”