Toyota’s windows of the future let passengers see the outside world differently (Photo: Toyota)

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) joined forces with the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) last month to show how car windows could better connect people inside a vehicle to the world around them.

The concept was another example of carmakers' efforts to expand the definition of automotive interactivity. Connecting the car electronically to other cars and to the outside world has become one of the top priorities for car companies. That is because a new generation of tech-savvy car owners wants to have access to a host of IT services that aren't part of the traditional automotive environment.

In their"Windows to the World" concept presented at the “Our Future Mobility Now” exhibition, Toyota and CIID showed how windows could be transformed into interactive interfaces. Using augmented reality, they demonstrated how windows could display information about landmarks and other objects as they go past.

Windows could also be used as a canvas for drawings that interact with the passing environment.

The exhibition was organized by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

Engineers and designers from TME’s Kansei1 Design Division and CIID developed five concepts for Toyota’s "Window to the World”:

  • Drawing in Motion, which lets passengers draw on windows and integrate the images with the outside world
  • Zooming into captured moments in time, which lets passengers get a closer look at outside objects
  • Translating the world in a local language, which provides real-time translation of outside elements
  • Augmented Distances, which change the relative distance of a landmark to the car
  • Virtual Constellations, which show the stars and provides information about them through a car's panoramic roof.
A video of the "Windows on the World" project can be seen here: toyota windowtoworld.automotiveIT.

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