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Virtual Cable™ is an augmented reality (AR) application for automotive navigation. The system,
using our breakthrough
true-3D technology, presents a wayfinding line visible right through the windshield; presenting the information as a natural part of the landscape. As you can see in the video below, the line appears to be stretched over the road for several hundered yards in front of the car, above the street-level activity of traffic.
Current GPS systems distract the driver's gaze from the road to animated two-dimensional maps, with a distinct lag as the brain interprets the map information and applies it to the route. Often several glances are required to resolve the differences between the "cartoon version" of the GPS data and the real world. The Virtual Cable™, with its naturalistic perspective and foreshortening, appears to the driver as a solid overhead cable, showing turn-by-turn information way before the driver needs to act on it.
This is a simulation of the Virtual Cable™ experience from the driver's point of view. It shows the line as thin and as well defined as you will see it in a production unit. We've been developing a prototype of the Virtual Cable™ display in our test car and we are making rapid progress in improving the image quality to match the simulation (see actual test videos below).
Video 1 Simulation of the Virtual Cable™ experience from the driver's point of view in various driving situations.
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Actual Field Test Video: Video was taken of a field test of the Virtual Cable™ prototype using a small digital camera mounted on the dashboard of our test car. This video is limited by the 2 dimensionality of your computer screen. The Virtual Cable™ image is displayed for the driver using our breakthrough true-3D technology. It appears to be stretched over the road for several hundered yards in front of the car. The driver sees the correct route far ahead and is prepared to make all necessary maneuvers safely and without stress. Note that the flutter in the image is an artifact of the refresh-rate of the video camera, and is not apparent to the driver.
Video 2 This actual field test video is limited by the 2 dimensionality of your computer screen. Nothing we can show on a flat computer screen can prepare you for the impressive way the truly 3 dimensional Virtual Cable™ looks within the real landscape.
Lab Unit Video: MVS has developed two working prototypes of the Virtual Cable™ system; one for field research and the other for laboratory testing and further development The lab unit has a better image quality. The Virtual Cable™ image is sharper, rounder and is thinning with the distance. Our ultimate goal is to have an image that is as thin as in the simulation videos above, but appearing round as in the lab unit video.
Video 3 This actual lab unit video is also limited by the 2 dimensionality of your computer screen, but you may notice that the image definition is better than in the field test unit. The image is sharper, rounder and is thinning with the distance.
Fig. 1 A comparison of the Virtual Cable™ with existing car navigation systems.