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MINI Augmented Vision Glasses Give X-Ray View of 2015 Auto Shanghai

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Plus, the latest John Cooper Works model makes an appearance

MINI Augmented Vision Glasses on display at Shanghai Auto Show car exterior
Remember those x-ray glasses BMW was reportedly developing back in February? The idea generated a lot of buzz due to the claim the glasses could see directly through the brand’s automobiles. Said eye-wear was unveiled this week at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show..but for the MINI brand. Attendees to China’s biggest automotive expo got a glimpse at the future of heads-up displays at MINI’s press conference.

The other highlight from MINI’s presentation in China this week was the toting of the new MINI John Cooper Works model, which I discussed back in January when it was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show.

MINI Promotes New John Cooper Works Model and X-Ray Glasses

MINI John Cooper Works model debut at 2015 Auto Shanghai
It took a three-minute-long presentation of hip hop stuntmen dancing to Blur’s “Song 2” to generate the amount of excitement worthy of the new MINI John Cooper Works. We already learned the details about this model months ago, so suffice it to say that MINI anticipates this “rebel green” model to be a hit in the Chinese Auto Market.

What really deserves our attention is what the driver of the MINI John Cooper Works car on stage was wearing: MINI’s Augmented Vision Glasses.

These high-tech specs were shown exclusively to hand-selected partners and media representatives in San Francisco on Sunday, which was coordinated with their world premiere at 2015 Auto Shanghai Sure these “very cool” glasses–as MINI’s representatives refer to them–look like something a steampunk aviator would wear, but what do they actually do?

MINI Augmented Vision Glasses on display at Shanghai Auto Show driving

According to MINI, these fancy glasses are “designed to enhance the drivers’ role, making the behind-the-wheel experience more enjoyable and even more exciting.” That’s accomplished by integrating applications inside and outside the vehicle with superimposed images on the glasses’ lenses–much like a portable heads-up display. Programmers even developed an algorithm to predict head movements so wearers don’t get nauseous.

Highlighted features of the Augmented Vision technology includes:

  • Selecting destinations and navigation routes while outside the vehicle
  • Display of speed limits, current speed, and other pertinent information
  • Navigation arrows and attention on nearby items of interest
  • Text messaging alerts
  • X-ray view through certain vehicle parts, making them appear transparent
  • Easy parking with external camera feed

These futuristic specs were created by Designworks and developed with Qualcomm and BMW. They’re powered by MINI Connected. See the prototype in action in the commercial below (one of four video spots released by MINI):