Honda Working On AR Games In Vehicles To Entertain Passengers
"BMW Group partners with AirConsole to bring casual gaming to vehicles starting in 2023." | Source: BMW Group
Honda Motor Company has recently published a patent for an in-vehicle entertainment system that utilises occupants’ motions to provide interactive experiences based on those motions and the vehicle’s surrounding environment.
The system includes an in-vehicle performance device with a motion detector, display, and display controller to detect motions unrelated to driving and display corresponding response images on a display within the vehicle.
The response images can be superimposed on objects in the vehicle’s surroundings, and occupants can interact with the system by performing motions such as pointing at specific objects.
The system incorporates augmented reality (AR) technology, and there may be a multiplayer aspect that allows occupants in different vehicles to play the video game simultaneously and compare scores.
While the patent does not address potential distractions for the driver, it emphasises that the system is intended for occupants’ entertainment and not for the driver’s use.
Earlier today, we came across a recently published patent from Honda Motor Company titled “IN-VEHICLE PERFORMANCE DEVICE, IN-VEHICLE PERFORMANCE SYSTEM, IN-VEHICLE PERFORMANCE METHOD, STORAGE MEDIUM, AND COMMAND MEASUREMENT DEVICE” filed in December 2022 under the name of HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
The patent, published earlier this month, describes an in-vehicle system that provides entertainment to the occupants of a vehicle. Simply put, the patent presents various configurations for an in-vehicle entertainment system that utilises occupants’ motions and offers interactive experiences based on those motions and the vehicle’s surrounding environment.
“An in-vehicle performance device is an in-vehicle performance device that performs a game that is played by an occupant in a vehicle, and includes a motion detector configured to detect a motion of the occupant irrelevant to driving the vehicle, a display configured to display an image visually recognizable by the occupant, and a display controller configured to display a response image according to the motion of the occupant on the display on the basis of the motion of the occupant detected by the motion detector, and output a result of a game based on a predetermined rule,” reads the abstract for the patent.
According to Honda Motor Company’s claims, the in-vehicle entertainment system consists of multiple devices, including an in-vehicle performance device that provides entertainment to the occupants of a vehicle. The device includes a motion detector, a display, and a display controller. It detects the motion of the vehicle occupants that is unrelated to driving, and based on that motion, it displays an image on the display.
The displayed image corresponds to the occupants’ motion and follows a predetermined rule. The device can also display the response image superimposed on objects in the surrounding environment of the vehicle. In one configuration, the motion detected can be the occupant pointing at objects in the surrounding environment.
The device detects the pointing direction and displays a response image on the display, superimposed on a specific object in the pointing direction. The device can calculate a score based on the number of times the pointing motion is detected, and display the score on the display. The specific objects can be road signs, other vehicles, or store signboards present around the vehicle.
The patent also describes an in-vehicle performance system that includes multiple devices. The devices can transmit and receive score information from each other, and the display controller can compare and display scores from different devices. The display can also provide instructions for movements based on the behavior of the vehicle and other devices in the system.
Therefore, based on the details of the patent, it’s clear that Honda Motor Company may be working on a system that allows passengers to play a video game while the vehicle is in motion. The device seems to be utilising augmented reality (AR) technology by superimposing response images on objects in the surrounding environment of the vehicle.
Passengers can interact with the video game by performing motions, such as pointing at specific objects, and the device detects these motions and displays corresponding response images on a display within the vehicle. The video game is designed to provide entertainment to the passengers while they are traveling in the car.
The patent does not provide specific details on how the video game would be displayed to the passengers. However, some illustrations in the patent show augmented reality (AR) visual effects superimposed in front of the passenger on the windscreen. It is important to note that the patent does not address the potential distraction this could pose for the driver. Therefore, implementing such a system may not be advisable for the company, as it could be distracting and potentially harmful to the driver’s attention on the road.
However, it is important to note that the video game is intended for the occupants of the vehicle and not the driver. The video game is displayed to the passenger on a display within the vehicle. The patent refers to this display as the “display controller.” The exact location of the display within the vehicle is not specified in the patent, but we can assume that it could be integrated into the dashboard, a separate screen for passenger entertainment, or other suitable locations within the vehicle’s interior.
Additionally, there also seems to be a multiplayer aspect to the in-vehicle entertainment system, as the patent specifies that the display controller compares the scores of the same team’s in-vehicle performance devices with those of another team’s devices and displays the comparison result on the display. Hence, passengers playing a video game on the system may be able to play it simultaneously with or against passengers in surrounding cars in real-time.
Although Honda Motor Company’s patent is undoubtedly unique and innovative, it’s essential to recognise that a patent alone does not guarantee its implementation or development. The specific details regarding how the company intends to integrate the patented entertainment system into its vehicles remain unclear. However, the existence of this patent signals the potential for new possibilities in video game technology.
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