Toyota developing touch window

AUTHOR: Inavate

A futuristic display concept could transform journeys for passengers as they use car windows as an interactive interface to the outside world. Toyota Motor Europe (TME) joined forces with the consultancy arm of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) to develop the “Window to the World” concept. Passengers can use pinch gestures to zoom in on the outside world or use the window as a canvas to draw on.

The concept uses augmented reality to provide passengers with information about landmarks and other objects as they go past. The window can also be used as a canvas to draw on. The sketches can then interacts with the passing environment.

Engineers and designers from TME’s Kansei1 Design Division teamed up with CIID to develop the concept. The team claimed they intended to “create beautiful and intangible experiences to address specific needs and desires [and] bring genuine value to the vehicle’s passengers”.

TME Kansei Division and CIID developed five concepts for Toyota’s “Window to the World”:

  • Drawing in Motion – using the car window as a canvas, passengers can draw, using their fingers, and see the images integrating with the outside world as the vehicle moves along.
  • Zooming into captured moments in time – the window becomes a screen for passengers to zoom-in on outside objects to see it in a brand new perspective. 
  • Translating the world in a local language – passengers are exposed to new languages and cultures as they can select elements outside the window and receive a real-time translation in a local language.
  • Augmented Distances – pinpoint landmarks in the distance and the window will augment the relative distance to the car on the window surface.
  • Virtual Constellations – the car’s panoramic roof displays virtual constellations and information about them with the actual sky as a background.
Two working prototypes of Toyota’s “Window to the World” concept were shown at the “Our Future Mobility Now” exhibition, organised by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), June 22 to 25 at the Autoworld Museum in Brussels, Belgium.