VW invests in SeeReal to enhance AR offering

Louise Smyth

Volkswagen has acquired a minority stake in SeeReal Technologies. This participation will secure access to future-oriented augmented reality in the field of display technologies. The research project will provide the Group with key know-how to make driving safer and more convenient in the future.

Potentially hazardous situations on the road will be projected into the driver’s environment in three dimensions, touchable displays will be suspended instead of controls, partners and telephone conversations will appear as holograms, passengers will be able to play hovering three- dimensional Tetris – these visions could soon become reality in the automobile.

Head-up displays of the type already in the marketplace can project their information within a limited space. In contrast, in the full-electric Volkswagen ID.3*, which is to be sold from 2020 onwards, information will be projected into the driver’s field of vision, with direct links to the driver’s environment, via an augmented reality head-up display.

In future generations of head-up displays, three-dimensional presentations will even merge seamlessly with the environment, allowing innovative display concepts both in the distance and near to the driver. In future, conventional dashboards may become obsolete and vehicles may be controlled via virtual switches and displays. All occupants would be able to use touchable three-dimensional displays with natural vision for information or interaction.

Research in this area is being carried out by SeeReal Technologies and is progressing in a highly promising way. The Head of Volkswagen Group Innovation, Dr Axel Heinrich, said: “Augmented reality will be a key component in future mobility and interaction concepts. This is why we are focusing on key technologies such as holography which will present this new reality in a fascinating way. We will be providing the automotive requirements for this exciting project and the know-how in 3-D technology will be contributed by SeeReal.” 

Read about Volvo’s approach to AR here.


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