Apple Patent Turns Car Windscreen Into Giant Augmented Reality Screen

Apple has filed a patent for an augmented reality windscreen that can display map directions and FaceTime video calls.

Spotted by Patently Apple, the plans were submitted to the patent office earlier this month. They would convert the windscreen into a heads up display (HUD.) Apple stresses in the patent that content would not block the view of the road, but instead overlay. Think of it like maps highlighting the correct road to turn into.

The technology would rely on a range of sensors in the car itself including: Infrared cameras, light beam scanning devices, ultrasonic sensors, depth cameras, radar devices and GPS.

Beyond maps, a HUD windscreen would allow drivers to better monitor their driving speed, Apple stated.

As for FaceTime, Apple hopes it can help drivers communicate visually while driving. “In some embodiments, an augmented reality display system included in a vehicle enables visual communication between an occupant of the vehicle and a remotely located user, including an occupant of a separate vehicle.”

Another feature in the patent—titled Panicky Occupant Detection—would monitor drivers’ stress levels by observing their eye movement, body posture, body temperature, eye blink rate, heart rate and body gestures. The HUD would then adjust which display elements are shown on the windscreen.