When people speak about digital assistants and cars, they mostly mention Apple’s Siri and Google’s Google Now, but maybe that is because Microsoft’s Cortana is relatively new in the business.
While Siri and Google now are taking the co-pilot position of your car from the dashboard, Microsoft’s Cortana may appear on your windshield. Today, Microsoft announced at the annual conference Taiwan TechDays that they have developed a car that integrates their digital assistant Cortana.
A key feature of the project is that the virtual assistant will be projected unto the windshield of the car in order to provide the driver with visual feedback, without distracting the driver from the road.
Though new on the table in the digital assistants field, Mirosoft refused to look back at what its main competitors are doing and fashion an entirely new technology. While Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay had a head start, their software focused on integrating their technology into a rather conventional in-vehicle assistance. Although both are voice activated, the driver will still have to use their device’s touchscreen on the dashboard in order to perform certain actions.
As public appearances were concerned, Microsoft appeared to be lagging behind. Wrong. The company’s “Windows in Car” concept was present last year at the BUILD conference and it was nothing short of extraordinary. But who would have thought that Microsoft would conceive a phone that is able to project its interface on your windshield this soon?
Microsoft proved once again that they are more and more ambitious when it comes to offering such technologies to the public. The company shifted its focus away from touch controls, as they thought it would be a great risk of distraction for the drivers. Considering that all these digital assistants are voice controlled, what would be the point of not allowing the drivers to interact with the software hands-free?
In addition to voice commands, Microsoft implemented projecting capabilities on the car’s windshield, which is situated near the driver’s eye level. What this means is that you could project Google Maps directly on your windshield and follow the indications without taking your eyes off the road.
Although this technology sounds far-fetched and it is just in the state of a concept, the company is currently working on it. Considering that technological advancements are made at a much faster pace than ever before, and that just yesterday a team of researchers from California invented a ultra-thin invisibility cloak, the concept of a digital assistant on your windscreen surely doesn’t sound that unachievable anymore.
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