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What is Nissan’s Invisible-to-Visible tech all about

FE Bureau

At CES 2019 this week, Nissan announced Invisible-to-Visible, a technology that helps drivers see the invisible by merging the real and virtual worlds creating the ultimate connected-car technology. But what is this technology all about?

In a press note, Nissan Research Center has shared how the society can interact with Invisible-to-Visible. Tetsuro Ueda, a tech expert at the Center, says it increases awareness, enhances driving experience.

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The technology in brief
Invisible-to-Visible, or I2V, gathers data from the space around as we drive. It is then brought to life by 3D, augmented visuals in front of the driver. In essence, the driver can interact with and see information that would otherwise be invisible.

Is it different from other technologies?
In terms of interacting with digital devices thus far, Ueda says, technology has just added voice to the display of information on a flat screen. I2V uses a method that goes beyond this. Some companies are researching 3D displays in vehicles similar to our technology, but the differentiator is our new approach of presenting data or avatars as MR (mixed reality). This increases the level of interaction and gives virtual elements weight in our reality. Another factor is our goal of presenting information and data in a human-like way, through agent-type avatars, Ueda notes.

Isn t it then a virtual personal assistant?
Ueda says that while VPAs focus on improving the efficiency of user assistance functions through AI, agent-type avatars emphasise interaction between people, rather than efficiency. VPAs serve as functional assistants, these avatars don t stop at functionality and instead partner in the mobile vehicle space, ranging from casual conversation partner to driving guidance, language study, consulting, counselling, all done in same shared space as the user.

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Will the appeal of driving diminish?
Ueda notes that cars satisfy people s desire for mobility. A core feature of I2V is sharing the experience of mobility, but it also acts as a catalyst for a heightened level of interaction. This technology encourages new interactions obtained through movement beyond just the real world we hope this technology will generate motivation to use cars in order to obtain the I2V user experience. But he adds that the experience of riding together in a virtual space could never match the experience of reality. Thus, we re not concerned about a decrease in the driving public.

Can this technology work anywhere?
I2V can be used anywhere with access to internet. But it will have to wait for the introduction of 5G or later wireless technologies to be used in moving vehicles.