I would bet that just about everyone went on some type of road trip as a kid, or have at least taken their children on one by now.
Things are generally tolerable for the first few hours, but then younger kids inevitably get bored and ask “Are we there yet?” a million times. Then, well, the complaining and fighting starts and probably won’t end until your destination is reached.
GM feels your pain and has unveiled a new concept dubbed Windows of Opportunity that makes portable video games, and DVD players look uber-lame by comparison.
Windows of Opportunity - or WOO - is a sweet concept that "transforms" the windows of a vehicle into transparent screens.
This is very similar to the tech that showcased in the futuristic car Tom Cruise drives in the latest Mission Impossible flick with see-through navigation on the windshield.
GM is touting the system as a way to put data and entertainment onto the windows of the car - directly in the passenger or driver view.
Naturally, the entertainment features are aimed at passengers, while the driver gets an uber-cool navigation display. Think about it: wouldn’t it be great to have traditional GPS moving map navigation right on the windshield - rather than having to look down at the dash? This would definitely help drivers keep their eyes on the road.
GM came up with the concept for the WOO hardware, but turned to some students at the FUTURE LAB at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel for ideas about apps, which include Otto, Foofu, Spindow, and Pond.
Otto is a mini animated superhero character that looks to be flying along with your landscape outside the window. Personally, my favorite app Foofu, which renders what looks like steam on the windows for a child to draw on. Of course, they could just blow on the window like in the old days, but colored virtual steam is quite cool.
Another sweet app is Spindow, which allows the passenger to look into other user's windows around the globe in real time. Presumably, that means you can see what other people are doing on their windows. Pond is the final app, and it is a sharing and streaming platform for music and messages, sort of like a Facebook for people that happen to be driving on the same road.
Now for the heartbreaker. GM says that it currently has no plans to integrate WOO tech into its vehicles. I bet the tech for this is prohibitively expensive today. Perhaps in another ten years this will be a standard, integrated feature for automobiles.