5 Reasons Why MINI’s Augmented Reality Eyewear Will be Pants


Not too long ago, we wrote a post on the 3 Iconic Car Brands that make awesome glasses.  Well over at MINI, they must have been listening because yesterday at the Auto Shanghai show it was announced a new “augmented vision eyewear” product has been created.

Project Manager within the BMW Group Dr. Jörg Preißinger explains:

We have created an interlinked system and augmented reality eyewear with a characteristic MINI design that [will] revolutionise the experience both in and outside the vehicle.

That “characteristic MINI design” can be seen below, what seemingly looks quite similar to the pair of goggles Dick Van Dyke wears in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


MINI claim to be pioneering innovation in the world of technology and driving, the new eyewear will project relevant information into the driver’s (and wearer’s) direct field of vision, whilst not concealing other road users.

Whilst we can’t deny the technology made is breaking further ground, we’ve got 5 reasons why these MINI specs might not be so cool:

1.  They look stupid.

Here’s the real question: would you wear them?  If yes, then do you have a secret desire to become a 1940’s bomber pilot?  Or perhaps Johnny Depp as Willa Wonka?  The nutty professor design could certainly stir some attention, but look great for pretending you’ve just been transported back from the past and coining terms like “toodlepip old chap” and “that’s spiffing!”

With one of several functions that can be projected into your field of vision a navigation display, not just from vehicle to final destination, but from your current location to the vehicle.  Meaning?  You don’t just run the risk of being seen driving in a pair of these, you could be seen walking around in them too.  Awkward.

Plus, look at the size of those things, can they really fit within the glove box of a mini?


2.  Heads up displays functions, for those who can’t be bothered

Your own speed and the speed limit of the area are displayed above the steering wheel,  not to obscure other road users MINI says, but when it’s a matter of inches away from where you’d look normally is it innovative technology, or just catering to the lazy?

What we think would be really innovative is having the “augmented reality” built within windscreen and maybe wiping out some of the dashboard instead.  This way you can get the best of both worlds, spread over a larger area of space, which doesn’t travel with you when you look round to wave at your mates.  No?

3.  Glasses on glasses on glasses…

Specifically targeting glasses wearers on this point.  For those who have to, or like to, wear a pair of glasses usually; what happens when we need to wear both – do we have a double up glasses situation on our hands?  Although the MINI specs look large in size, are they large enough to cover another frame underneath?  Will that be comfortable?

So many questions, only optical wearers could naturally think up and we wouldn’t like to think MINI are out-casting the visually impaired… On the other side, what happens if the battery runs out, or they break, will we forget where we’re going?  Forget our speed, or how to drive?!


4.  Annoying features

Okay, maybe we’re coming across as a bit pessimistic about MINI and their new tech venture, some features could actually enhance safer driving.  Like the X-ray feature for example, the glasses enable the wearer to see through pillars, doors and other blind spots in the car, however, another feature suggests places of interest to stop and check out along your route.  Just imagine coasting along and – ping – a notification pops up to tell you there’s a Dog Museum just a few minutes away.  Erm right, great thanks.

Notifications can also be sent through to your vision to let you know when you’ve received a txt message, want to know what it says?  MINI will read it out to you.  No doubt, in the most computerised cringe-worthy voice, butchering whatever friend’s personality who sent it.  Let’s stick to the driving features shall we MINI ?

5.  Making the egotistical more, well, egotistical

External cameras on the back of the car eliminates the fear of parallel parking, but we’ve all met one of those know-it-all drivers.  With not only a car but glasses to match and that’ll do everything for you, those Mr & Mrs Know-it-all’s out there might kick it up a notch to really make your teeth grind.  Did a perfect parallel park the other day did you?  Oh well my MINI has external cameras to do that for me.  Eat at a nice restaurant did you?  Oh yes, well, my MINI recommended this fantastic one to go to with Michelin Star… Oh, shut up.


Moaning aside, we’re sure this receives a few gold stars from reviewers and fans alike, but what do you think?  Do you think MINI’s new shades are going to be the new cool?  Or do you think even the coolest person could not look cool wearing these?  Let us know if the comment section!

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