TOUCH-SCREEN WINDSCREENS : THE FUTURE OF MOTORING?

Anyone who drives a vehicle knows one simple truth – that your windscreen is your friend.  More than your friend, perhaps, as it’s your ally and protection against the elements, the roads ahead and ensures that you, your passengers and even your fellow road users are safe.  Could you imagine driving without a windscreen, or without the right glass or front screen protection?  In a few years, one of the world’s leaders in technology and innovation could be hoping that we may feel the same way about ‘smart’ windscreens!

Apple, who have changed the way that millions of people use their mobile phones, listen to music and access the internet, could now be aiming to change the way that we drive, in an effort to bring a fully-functional touch-windscreen to our vehicles in the short term.  An article at FastCompany.com reveals that the company are working to use Virtual and Augmented Reality to help allow users to use and manipulate virtual interfaces on existing surfaces – which, if speculation abound is thought to be true, could mean that we will be able to view certain information and guides to help us on the road via the inside of our windscreen.

There have been rumours circulating for some time regarding Apple’s plans for a car to be released by the end of the decade – whether or not this is to rival Google’s own self-driving vehicles is yet to be seen – and it is said to be an ‘open secret’ that the firm are certainly interested in working towards motoring.  Using Augmented Reality, or AR, as part of a windscreen, could make for better use of the space of the window, allowing for rear and side views to potentially be displayed in comfortable positions and formats for the driver, alongside the potential for ‘touch’ technology, where drivers may be able to even use a GPS application or similar to help aid journeys ahead.  All of this, sadly, is currently speculation!

As far as things stand, the idea of a multi-faceted windscreen is probably likely, however, one has to understand the practicality of such matters – the windscreen is essential to maintaining a wide view of the road both ahead and around, with minimal opportunity to take careful glances behind – and, as such, they are provided in standard sizes to maximise a view of the road.  Changing the windscreen may not be akin to reinventing the wheel, but if Augmented Reality is to become part of our driving experience it is likely that a number of factors need to be taken into account before such applications will be allowed on the market, and deemed safe for use.

 While the windscreen at present may seem rather humble and boring, do not take it for granted – while we may be a few years away from augmenting our front windows with facts and figures, always look after your windscreen for the very fact that it separates you from the tarmac at 50mph – and that without it, you and the ones you love would be at severe risk.  So, sit tight for AR windscreens – but enjoy your car in the meantime!