Japanese automaker Nissan announced today it wants to beam “three-dimensional, augmented-reality avatars” into the cabin of its cars — and it’s already racing ahead with some preliminary tests. In other words, you’ll be able to interact with 3D, anime-style holograms of people inside your Nissan.
“The companies will evaluate how the people inside the car and those represented through avatars sense each other’s presence via the user interfaces,” reads yesterday’s press release.
Nissan showed off a rather peculiar concept at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January: “Invisible-to-Visible” (I2V) technology is meant to beam information — like the locations of pedestrians or physical landmarks — from the outside world right on to your dashboard.
Nissan’s “Metaverse” is a virtual world that blends with the real world to create “the ultimate connected-car experience,” according to technology expert at the Nissan Research Center Testuro Ueda in a press release. Whether Nissan got its inspiration from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi classic “Snow Crash” is unclear.
In other words: 3D holograms of stuff we see in the real world. “Sensing data, gathered from the space around us as we drive, and interactions with virtual information are brought to life by three-dimensional, augmented visuals in front of us,” said Ueda.
If that sounds odd and a little vague, that’s because it is. No release date has been set and apart from some flashy renders released in January for its debut at CES, Nissan hasn’t shown us much of what that future could actually look like.
Besides, hologram technology simply doesn’t exist yet — or at least not in this form. That would explain why CES attendants had to wear giant AR goggles to experience Nissan’s vision of the future.