GM project turns car windows to interactive displays

Similar to Toyota’s Window to the World concept revealed last year, General Motors has unveiled a project called ‘Windows of Opportunity (WOO)’ to create a scenario where windows themselves could replace backseat boredom with interactive scribbling, sweeping and pinching.

General Motors Research and Development put that challenge before researchers and students from the FUTURE LAB at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel.

The task: Conceptualize new ways to help rear seat passengers, particularly children, have a richer experience on the road.

The Windows of Opportunity (WOO) Project was inspired by psychological studies indicating car passengers often feel disconnected from their environment, GM asked the Bezalel students  to turn car windows into interactive displays capable of stimulating awareness, nurturing curiosity and encouraging a stronger connection with the world outside the vehicle.

Since GM has no immediate plans to put interactive display windows into production vehicles, the R&D team gave free reign to the Bezalel students to create applications without concern whether they could be mass produced. Bezalel is Israel’s oldest institute of higher education and one of the more prestigious schools of its kind in the world.

The apps thought of so far include:

Otto, an animated character projected over passing scenery that responds to real-time car performance, weather and landscape. With Otto, passengers can learn about their environment in fun, playful ways.

Foofu, an app that allows passengers to create, explore and discover through finger drawing on window steam.

Spindow, an app that provides its users a peek into other users’ windows around the globe in real time.

Pond, an app that allows passengers to stream and share music with other cars on the road, downloads favorite tracks, and share messages with other passengers on the road.

To demonstrate these apps, the students produced a full scale functional prototype of a rear passenger seat and side window. The students used motion and optical sensor technology developed by EyeClick to turn standard window glass into a multi-touch and gesture sensitive surface.

If such interactive windows were put into automotive production they likely would use electronically charged “smart glass” technology, which is capable of variable states of translucence and transparency, and can reflect projected images.

Learn more here.

Source: General Motors.

Related Articles:

EU: Toyota adds augmented reality content to car’s windows.

Video: Toyota ‘Window to the World’ augmented reality concept.

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