Microsoft and VW Team up to Optimize HoloLens AR Glasses for Cars

Mixed reality in motion

Augmented reality devices do a great job of adding tech-enabled flair to static environments, but these gadgets seriously struggle when you start moving. 

Microsoft and Volkswagon have teamed up to solve this particular issue, as announced in an official Microsoft blog post. The pair worked to optimize Microsoft’s HoloLens AR glasses, so they perform admirably even when careening down the highway in a car. 

Microsoft VW HoloLens

Microsoft

What’s the problem, and how did they solve it? HoloLens and related AR devices use a combination of camera sensors, accelerometers, and gyroscopes, but in a car, those latter two readings conflict, as the headset senses movement but sees a static landscape. The end result? The glasses get, well, car sick. 

The two companies have developed a prototype using the HoloLens 2 and advanced algorithms that allow for virtual objects to be placed both inside and outside of a moving vehicle. This leads to some pretty nifty potential uses, such as projecting a virtual map on the car's dashboard and popping up alerts on the window shield as you approach a pedestrian crossing. 

Microsoft VW HoloLenss

Microsoft

As you may remember, the HoloLens 2 augmented reality headset has a beefy price tag of $3,500 and is squarely aimed at enterprise customers for now. To that end, Microsoft envisions this new technology being implemented on large cargo ships, elevators, trains, and public transportation. 

Microsoft does, however, see how the technology could eventually serve regular customers, suggesting more compact versions of smart glasses will deliver in-car entertainment and help drivers navigate through busy and cramped streets, among other uses. 

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