Microsoft and VW partner up to bring augmented reality into cars – just not your car

Microsoft works with Volkswagen to bring augmented reality to cars via a new “Moving Platform” mode for the Hololens 2.

Neither company details exactly how it will work, but there are hints of what to expect. Microsoft, for example, said the “Moving Platform” could be used to train drivers to handle adverse road conditions.

It’s not about training everyday drivers. Instead, as with everything else in Orbit HoloLens 2, the focus is on business and enterprise, which means this platform could be used to train, for example, drivers of fleet.

Enhanced with 3D models

Looking at prototype images, the mode works by placing 3D models inside and outside of a car. You can only see them by putting on the HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset. For navigation, you’ll have a route map placed virtually on top of the dashboard with an arrow pointing where you need to go.

The HoloLens 2 will also display a holographic pedestrian warning at crosswalks to tell you to watch out for people. It will even tell you the temperature inside the car.

Microsoft tested the Moving Platform prototype by having Volkswagen researchers connect one of its vehicles to the HoloLens. The Volkswagen team then worked with Microsoft, offering feedback on how to improve the HoloLens Moving Platform mode.

This update is based on Microsoft’s current version of Moving Platform, which is intended for use on ships in the ocean. Ocean waves can disrupt the HoloLen 2, so the mode stabilizes the device’s view.

Microsoft doesn’t stop at cars and boats. There are plans to bring its mobile platform to “…elevators, trains, [and] other moving environments.

HoloLens Recovery

This new partnership with Volkswagen could be a way to breathe new life into the HoloLens project. He’s been through a tumultuous time recently.

In early February 2022, HoloLens 3 was cancelled. The problem was that no one knew what the headset was for, which may be why some members of the HoloLens 3 team jumped ship to work for Meta on its metaverse projects.

With this partnership with Moving Platform Volkswagen, however, Microsoft reinforces HoleLens 2’s purpose as a mixed reality tool for virtual training and information in an ever-expanding range of work scenarios. One can only hope that the HoloLens headsets and mobile platform will one day find their way into high school driving lessons.

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