While augmented reality interfaces have had their moment on smartphones, the automobile windshield is a potentially more useful place to overlay contextual information. Mercedes' Dynamic and Intuitive Control Experience (DICE) offers a look at how the manufacturer envisions getting everything from traffic data to information about passing landmarks. The concept ditches buttons and touch screens in favor of gesture-based controls that communicate information while driving. At CES, convention-goers were able to get a feel for the system in a virtual reality cube set up by Mercedes. While the concept might seem far off, in another hall at CES display manufacturers were showing their first prototypes of clear glass screens capable of full LED display—the missing link to making a concept like this real.
In an apparent nod to science fiction, pointing to a passing building brings up a short description along with the option to save the location to your favorite places. Mercedes is quick to push the social media angle, demonstrating how friend updates can be displayed for quick reference while driving. This being an in-car system, media playback takes a large part with browsing and song selection enabled.
While making a system like this real clearly requires balancing the need to avoid driver distraction, DICE shows the awesome potential of augmented reality in the years to come. Check out the newly released video to see DICE in action.