CES 2017: Augmented Reality & Automobile Tech

POSTED BY   Michele Baker
11th January 2017

This week our social media specialist David Dhannoo turns his attention to augmented reality and looks at what was on offer at the recent CES 2107 (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas.

A Brief Look at Augmented Reality at CES 2017

CES 2017: Augmented Reality & Automobile Tech | TDMB Tech Blog | David Dhannoo

When you’re writing about tech each week, you start to (or at least I have a habit of) find yourself saying things are “disruptive” or “game-changing”. Sadly, this not always the case, with some technologies not necessarily living up to the hype.

However, at CES, many gadgets on offer do live up to these promises. I’ve been following CES since 2014, and always have one of these ‘wow’ moments from the tech on offer. CES 2017 was no different.

There are so many areas of tech on offer at the show. But, since I am focusing on AR this week, I’ll be bringing you what’s new and exciting in that particular field of technology.

Augmented Reality CES 2017 – The Car Industry

So what is new and exciting? I hear you ask. One of my favourite things related to AR at CES 2017 was BMW’s augmented reality showroom.

BMW customers will be able to view the German carmaker’s hybrid and electric BMWi cars with augmented reality technology.

So how does it work? Using a smartphone, potential buyers can view and interact with a virtual car as if it were standing in front of them. Pretty cool, eh?

BMW executive Andrea Castronovo told Tech2: “In situations where the desired product isn’t available on the spot, this visualisation is the next best thing.”

Smartphones that have Google’s Tango technology will be able to see a lifelike 3D image of the vehicle.

The AR showroom allows users to open car doors, turn on lights, and even alter the interior and exterior colour schemes from a simple swipe.

The German automobile giant will test the AR project in selective dealerships across eleven of its biggest markets for the BMWi range. These include the UK, China, Japan, Germany, Italy, and The United States.

Once the test phase has been completed, BMW plans to make their AR app available via Google Play.

Sticking with the car theme, Continental are currently focusing on projection technology that could make AR a reality. They’ve partnered with DigiLens who develop compact projectors with high-resolution displays, which are typically designed for augmented reality glasses.


Image source: Continental

Partnering with Digilens helps them with their proposed head-up display that projects over a larger area of the windshield than current projectors. This would show a variety of sensor-derived information about the car’s environment (as pictured).

Also at CES 2017, Visteon, a maker of instrument cluster displays and infotainment systems for the car industry gave a demo at the Las Vegas event showcasing a sensor-driven head-up display that painted simple graphics on the windshield.

Visteon’s driving simulation showed painted imagery on other cars on the road, which illustrated potential dangers for a driver. In the colour-coded imagery that was shown in the demonstration, for example, a red graphic around a car ahead indicated that it was braking. It also highlighted pedestrians on the side of the road.

This is just one example of how one industry will using augmented reality in 2017 and from the looks of things from the BMW example and the Continental and Visteon demos, the automobile industry will rapidly evolve from the way we view and purchase the product to being more safer drivers thanks to AR. CES 2017 and AR have shown that there really are game-changers (without overemphasising the term).

Augmented Reality CES 2017 – what are your thoughts?

Which industries will use AR more this year and do you have any predictions on what will be big at CES 2018? As usual, we would love to hear from you, so feel free to leave a comment via Facebook and Google Plus pages. Alternatively, you can tweet us and David on today’s topic.

David Dhannoo - Social Media Specialist at The Digital Marketing BureauDavid Dhannoo is Social Media Specialist at TDMB. A massive fan of Brutalist architecture, David is very interested in the applications of Technology within industry. You can contact Dave on Twitter, or drop him an email directly, to chat about today’s post, as well as his other articles and work for TDMB.

CES 2017: Augmented Reality & Automobile Tech

Michele Baker

Michele Baker is the Senior Content Strategist at TDMB. She began her journey into tech marketing via a Masters in Creative Writing, evolving from a prize-winning poet and short story writer to a futuristic content guru. Michele now writes endlessly about all aspects of technology, hosts the TDMB Presents… tech podcast, and speaks at numerous tech and marketing events.

Get in Touch With Michele Baker

01306 632 854

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