The projected future of in-car entertainment, as envisioned by an RMIT team.
FORGET I Spy and hand-held video games – they are passe.
Soon the kids will be able to stay amused playing with three-dimensional holograms controlled by motion sensors.
The technology, similar to Microsoft’s Kinetic system, is being developed by the Games and Experimental Entertainment Laboratory (GEElab) at the RMIT University.
Three-dimensional images are projected into the back seat to entertain passengers, who control the action with gestures rather than buttons and hand-held controllers – and without the need for 3D glasses.
The system can teach young passengers about their surroundings as they drive along. For example, it can project an image of a train as the vehicle passes a railway station. It can also become a mobile tour guide or provide a virtual office-like environment, allowing passengers to use the technology as an interactive computer.
”This is not far-fetched. We’re talking with Audi about this. They love it and think it’s super interesting,” said the director of the RMIT Laboratory, Steffen Walz. ”We’re going to build this prototype very soon … it will use gestural interaction, a 3D holographic display and also, transparent windows as an interface. This is what we’re doing next,” said Dr Walz.
”We could just grab a car now and build the system into it, but we want to build it so that it fits nicely with the car, and Audi are very interested.”
Dr Walz presented the Audi-sponsored research at the brand’s Urban Future Summit in Frankfurt this week, an annual conference that brings architects, designers and city planners together and encourages visionary thinking about sustainable cities and future urban mobility.
”I would say that in about five years’ time, we will see this kind of stuff,” Dr Walz said.