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General Motors Explores Windows of Opportunity 2012.01.21

Detroit, USA - January 18, 2012 - Got backseat boredom? DVD players and Game Boys are so five years ago, but a new concept in rear seat entertainment technology that uses the windows themselves could replace squirminess and snoozing with interactive scribbling, sweeping and pinching. University project envisions smart interactive windows for rear passengers.

The Windows of Opportunity (WOO) Project was inspired by psychological studies indicating car passengers often feel disconnected from their environment.
GM asked the Bezalel students to turn car windows into interactive displays capable of stimulating awareness, nurturing curiosity and encouraging a stronger connection with the world outside the vehicle.
Photo courtesy GM
 

Detroit, USA - January 18, 2012

Got backseat boredom?

DVD players and Game Boys are so five years ago, but a new concept in rear seat entertainment technology that uses the windows themselves could replace squirminess and snoozing with interactive scribbling, sweeping and pinching.

Photo courtesy GM
 
General Motors Research and Development put that challenge before researchers and students from the FUTURE LAB at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel
.

Photo courtesy GM
 
The task: Conceptualize new ways to help rear seat passengers, particularly children, have a richer experience on the road
.

Photo courtesy GM
 
The Windows of Opportunity (WOO) Project
was inspired by psychological studies indicating car passengers often feel disconnected from their environment. GM asked the Bezalel students to turn car windows into interactive displays capable of stimulating awareness, nurturing curiosity and encouraging a stronger connection with the world outside the vehicle.

Thomas Seder, GM R&D Lab Group Manager for Human-Machine Interface.
As General Motors’ Human Machine Interface Lab group manager, Thomas Seder keeps a laser-like focus on how people interact with technology, with the aim of developing user-friendly ways to organize and display information in vehicles

Photo courtesy GM
 
“Traditionally, the use of interactive displays in cars has been limited to the driver and front passenger, but we see an opportunity to provide a technology interface designed specifically for rear seat passengers,” said Tom Seder, GM R&D lab group manager for human-machine interface.
“Advanced windows that are capable of responding to vehicle speed and location could augment real world views with interactive enhancements to provide entertainment and educational value.”

Photo courtesy GM
 
Since GM has no immediate plans to put interactive display windows into production vehicles, the R&D team gave free reign to the Bezalel students to create applications without concern whether they could be mass produced
.

Photo courtesy GM
 
Bezalel is Israel’s oldest institute of higher education and one of the more prestigious schools of its kind in the world
.

Photo courtesy GM
 
The apps include
:

Otto, an animated character projected over passing scenery that responds to real-time car performance, weather and landscape. With Otto, passengers can learn about their environment in fun, playful ways.

Foofu, an app that allows passengers to create, explore and discover through finger drawing on window steam.

Spindow, an app that provides its users a peek into other users’ windows around the globe in real time.

Pond, an app that allows passengers to stream and share music with other cars on the road, downloads favorite tracks, and share messages with other passengers on the road.

Photo courtesy GM
 
To demonstrate these apps, the students produced a full scale functional prototype of a rear passenger seat and side window
.

Photo courtesy GM
 
The students used motion and optical sensor technology developed by EyeClick to turn standard window glass into a multi-touch and gesture sensitive surface
.

Photo courtesy GM
 
If such interactive windows were put into automotive production they likely would use electronically charged “smart glass” technology, which is capable of variable states of translucence and transparency, and can reflect projected images.

Photo courtesy GM
 
Smart glass
is increasingly used in architectural and display applications, but outside of movies like Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is rarely seen in cars
.

Omer Tsimhoni, Lab Group Manager for Human-Machine Interface, GM Advanced Technical Center in Israel.
Former Israeli Air Force pilot helps GM understand how people interact with technology 

Photo courtesy GM
 
“Projects like WOO are invaluable, because working with designers and scholars from outside of the automotive industry brings fresh perspective to vehicle technology development,” said Omer Tsimhoni, lab group manager for human-machine interface, GM Advanced Technical Center in Israel.
“WOO is just one of many projects underway at GM that could reinvent the passenger experience in years to come.”


General Motors Co.


General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.

 
 
GM’s brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac
, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling.

More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at

http://www.gm.com  


Contacts

Ronen Bodoni
Concord Strategic Solutions
(for Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design)
+972-3-6083550 or +972-52-5559803
ronen@cic.co.il  


Source: General Motors

http://media.gm.com/content/media/us/en/gm/news.html  



Thomas Seder and Omer Tsimhoni
Photo courtesy GM
 

ASTROMAN Magazine - 2012.01.11


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Photo courtesy GM
 

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Photo courtesy GM
 

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