Microsoft recently submitted a patent application for a very interesting application that appears to be a way of turning your car windshield into a sort of computer desktop.
The patent application calls the device an “Adaptive heads-up user interface for automobiles.” The application also includes some drawings that clearly represent an automobile windshield that contains a sort of overlaid interface.
Icons are situated around the perimeter of the windshield, on the left side and bottom, specifically.
Crave at CNET.com has plunged through all of the complicated wording and say, “we managed to glean that the engineers who came up with the system want to move all the information currently displayed on navigation screens, car stereos, cell phones, and instruments onto the windshield.
As cool as this seems, I would first be worried that the desktop would distract drivers and be a safety concern. Microsoft, in their patent, is being proactive about addressing safety concerns, almost saying that this device should be created to prevent distraction by drivers who take their eyes off of the road to look at a number of different screens.
The patent indicated an adaptive interface, that would change its display according to the user and feedback from the car. Commands may be made by using traditional buttons, voice commands or even, perhaps, by tracking eye and head movements.
I wonder if Microsoft plans on including some of its computer products in the screen, such as Microsoft Outlook. Checking e-mail at 65 miles per hour seems like a crazy thing to do. Bur perhaps many drivers do that now anyway, using their mobile phones and other devices.
Who knows if the patent application will actually turn into a functioning device, but it certainly is intriguing.
What do you think? Would you opt in for a windshield desktop? Would you buy a car specifically for that feature? I would love to know what you think.
Mary Ann Romans also writes for the Frugal Living Blog here at Families.com, where she shares money saving tips for today’s families.