A new prototype augmented reality device from Nokia looks set to pave the way for head-mounted in-car satellite navigation and infotainment systems. Nokia Seidhr, named after a type of ancient Norse sorcery, uses Nokia’s transparent graphene technology to project a floating interface in front of the user.
The display works in similar fashion to Google Glass, but looks slightly ridiculous in that it resembles a screen attached to a hat, rather than a pair of spectacles. It’s remarkably capable, however, able to display a wide variety of content including high definition video, GPS maps, the date, time, temperature and other assorted pop-up data related to the user’s surroundings.
It is thought Nokia Seidhr could eventually replace traditional in-car infotainment systems. There are obvious benefits, not least the fact it enables drivers to see useful vehicular information directly in their line of sight.
The Nokia Seidhr runs a version of the Windows 8 operating system and is fitted with the same camera and motion-tracking technology seen in Microsoft Kinect. Infrared micro-lasers are used to track users’ eyes as they move around the virtual display and the whole thing can be controlled using touch commands through the graphene visor.
Using the device in its default manner would mean the driver would have to take his or her hands off the wheel, but scientists have carried out research that suggests this is no more dangerous than taking your eyes off the road.
Seidhr is part of a joint venture between Microsoft and Nokia, called Application Prototype Reality Interface Logging For Original Orthogonal Limits.
We expect to see Seidhr emerge from the Nokia Research Centre in Helsinki and onto the streets by Nevervember 2013.