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Digital Windows on the World?

GM concept would make those glass panels interactive.

by on Jan.18, 2012

Animated character Otto helps a child connect with the outside world using a "smart" rear window.

Game Boys and backseat monitors are “so five years ago,” suggests Tom Seder, a manager at the General Motors R&D labs.

Working with the Future Lab, at Israel’s Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, GM researchers are exploring ways to turn a car’s rear windows into interactive devices that could permit backseat passengers – children in particular – to have a more interesting experience while traveling.

According to GM, the Windows of Opportunity, or WOO, Project was inspired by studies showing that travelers often feel disconnected from the world outside.  The goal of the project isn’t to replace those Game Boys, iPads and seatback monitors as a way to play Mario Brothers, but to actually nurture curiosity about what’s beyond the passenger compartment.

In the Know!

“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 Seder. “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.”

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