Meta and luxury vehicle manufacturer BMW have joined forces to explore the integration of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies into smart vehicles. The collaboration aims to overcome challenges associated with tracking movements while using VR headsets inside a moving vehicle.
The current obstacle lies in the fact that existing tracking technologies, which rely on inertial motion sensors (IMUs) and cameras, struggle to accurately determine the position and motion of VR headsets when the vehicle is in motion. As a result, Meta Quest 2 VR headsets cannot display stable virtual content while inside a turning or accelerating vehicle.
To address this issue, Meta has implemented a solution involving real-time IMU data from BMW’s car sensor array. By incorporating this data into the tracking system of their Project Aria research glasses — which capture video, audio, eye movement, and location data from the wearer’s perspective — Meta could calculate the glasses’ position relative to the vehicle.
Through the successful transfer of this enhanced tracking system to the Meta Quest Pro, Meta has achieved the ability to accurately anchor virtual objects to a moving car using a digital twin of the vehicle. This breakthrough has allowed them to demonstrate captivating virtual and mixed-reality passenger experiences within moving cars, leveraging the new tracking system and Meta Quest Pro.
The next phase of development entails incorporating the car’s location relative to the world. This advancement would enable a rendering technique known as world-locked rendering, paving the way for even more immersive and realistic experiences within smart vehicles.
While Meta’s decision to halt NFT features raised eyebrows, the company’s focus on advancing metaverse technologies and immersive experiences remains steadfast. Similarly, BMW has been actively pursuing innovative initiatives in the blockchain and metaverse space.
In January, the automotive giant partnered with Coinweb to integrate blockchain technology into its operations. This collaboration aimed to develop a cross-chain customer loyalty program specifically for the Thai market, demonstrating BMW’s commitment to exploring the potential of blockchain beyond conventional applications.
Moreover, BMW made waves earlier this year with the debut of its “i Vision Dee” concept car — a glimpse into the brand’s vision of digital mobility in the future metaverse. The car embodies BMW’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of digital innovation and reimagining the future of transportation.
The alignment between Meta’s persistent focus on metaverse technologies and BMW’s forward-thinking initiatives showcases their shared determination to drive progress in the realms of AR, VR, and the metaverse. As both companies continue to explore new frontiers, the future of mobility and immersive experiences is set to be shaped by their innovative endeavors.