WayRay has had a huge amount of interest since Alibaba invested in the company last year, since then Swiss augmented reality (AR) specialist company has been looking for developers to create AR applications for cars in their True SDK Challenge in February 2018. VRFocus recently spoke with Mary Glazkova, Vice President of Communications at WayRay, about Navion and their original equipment manufacturer (OEM) solution for vehicles wanting to implement AR into their windshields.
After four years of R&D, WayRay has showcased two products this year. The first is the Navion, a holographic AR navigation system. Navion attaches to the dashboard of your car and shows drivers their speed, route and other trip details. The device is able to indicate real-time events such as pedestrians, potential hazards, points of interests and is completely hands-free. Navion also responds to voice commands and hand gestures.
Navion uses a holographic optical element created by WayRay; a photopolymer film that retains the properties of a periodic nanostructure after the recording process. It has a full HD camera for continuous mapping of the environment whilst simultaneously keeping track of the car’s location within it. WayRay call utilised simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) for this technology, and also has a mobile app where you can control information from such as restaurants, gas stations or hospitals. Glazkova says that this will be released in the middle or the end of this year, as the company is releasing their first SDK soon and are hoping developers can create applications for it.
WayRay’s second solution is a larger scale product than Navion, intended for OEMs. The Chinese automotive industry have been the first to embed WayRay’s solution into their car production lines which will be seen by the end of this year. When asked why all the solutions were in Chinese vehicles, Glazkova responded that they’re faster and not as old-fashioned as Western car manufacturers who require more time.
With the oncoming of self-driving cars, drivers will be able to be hands-free. This opens up the opportunity for all modes of transportation to become a form of entertainment. From buses and planes to cars. Having a screen that is capable of information overlay means that advertisers may already be thinking of ways of grabbing your attention, while WayRay has already devised a method of dealing with this called ‘action acts’. Advertisers in future will be able to target drivers and passengers in self-driving cars, and will have to pay in order to be featured to targeted audiences. To find out more watch the video below, and for all the latest from WayRay stay right here at VRFocus.