Today’s Augmented Reality “Thing” No.4 : AR to Prevent Driver Distraction

Right now we are doing quite a lot of research on in-car user interfaces, in particular how to introduce new devices or information services into the car that minimise driver distraction. The demo below from InfoVision , although a little rough claims to do just that. Basically people are given augmented reality information in response to voice commands. I have two real questions about this. The first is using voice commands while driving is probably in itself quite demanding and no doubt at times may distract the driver. The interface looks quite basic with arrows and basic written information being provided.  On the face of it this looks ok, however it would be good to see some more user tests of this technology as it looks a little basic right now. One main concern I do have is whether people will actually start focusing more on reading the augmented reality information rather than watching the road. This could be especially true if the symbols become difficult to read. Also the additional information about music that is displayed may also be distracting and non-essential to the driving task. Anyway I look forward to seeing some proper usability studies of this system.

Anyway please check out the video below, it’s a little rough but illustrates a concept. There are other perhaps more advanced augmented reality driving systems around and I will post more about the others shortly. Anyway good luck to the developers as it looks promising.

http://youtu.be/H2VJ8ny0a2I

About Rod McCall

Rod McCall is a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction in areas such as augmented reality, mobile gaming in-car systems and virtual environments. He has a passing interest in economics after not being entirely convinced by the rubbish presented as fact during lectures on that particular subject while at uni.
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