Augmented Reality Technology to Help Drivers See Around Blind Spots

Researchers from Japan's Keio University have developed an augmented reality technology that creates a 'transparent cockpit' for automobiles. To allow the driver to see beyond blind spots, the researchers train cameras on the car's surroundings, process the imagery to match the viewpoint of the driver, and then display it on the vehicle's interior, causing the doors, backseats, and floor either to disappear or fade. The team developed a new projector system that reflects light precisely back along the path it has just taken. By doing this, they can project the correct image, in its proper apparent position, directly at the observer – as long as the projector is close enough to the observer's eyes. In order to do this, we can place it on the person's head or mount the projector on the ceiling and have it track the person's movements. The retroreflective projection technology (RPT) uses a screen coated in 50-micrometer glass beads, which produces a very bright reflection. The system uses one projector for each eye, so it can create a stereoscopic effect with a single screen.