A transparent car? Sounds like the stuff of superhero films but Susumu Tachi and Masahiko Inami of the Graduate School of Media Design at Keio University have managed to fiddle with projectors, cameras and mirrors to make a car near-invisible.
What happens is that the tech captures what’s happening outside the car and displays it on the inside, allowing drivers to see what is happening outside – even in blind spots.
No more awkward car reversing
The car used in this interesting setup was a Toyota Prius, with the setup making the backseat virtually transparent. It is particularly useful when driving in reverse as you could see everything behind you without being limited to just the back windscreen.
While the standard in-car camera would be limited in its ability to tell you precisely where an object is relative to your car (besides visually), the new system allows a projector to show where the object actually is.
Besides making better drivers of us all, the tech is also envisioned as a means of optical camouflage. Perhaps it could be used by the military or police. “I didn’t see you, officer!” won’t be a good line to use when being issued a traffic ticket, I think, folks.
The makes of the tech are now working with carmakers and automotive electronics companies on the possibility of going commercial with this. Besides cars, the designers also see the possibilities of using this on a plane, office cubicles and anywhere where an augmented view would be appreciated.
Our invisible Wonder Woman planes look even closer to reality now.