Imagine when a journey from A to B is no longer routine as your car in the near-future encourages a sense of play, exploration and learning. This is the image engineers and designers from Toyota Motor Europe (TME) and the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) Consultancy had of Toyota’s “Window to the World” vehicle concept.

The concept re-defines the relationship between passengers in a vehicle and the world around it by transforming the vehicle’s windows into an interactive interface. Using augmented reality, what used to be a pane of glass, begins to provide passengers with information about landmarks and other objects as they go past. The window can also be used as a canvas for drawings, which then interacts with the passing environment.

Engineers and designers from TME’s Kansei1 Design Division teamed up with the CIID consultancy to develop this concept in the context of near-future mobility. Instead of creating a concept simply with strong visual aesthetics, they aimed to create beautiful and intangible experiences to address specific needs and desires, to bring genuine value to the vehicle’s passengers.

Through the latest advances in augmented technology, TME Kansei Division and CIID developed five concepts for Toyota’s “Window to the World”:

* Drawing in Motion – using the car window as a canvas, passengers can draw, using their fingers, and see the images integrating with the outside world as the vehicle moves along.

*Zooming into captured moments in time – the window becomes a screen for passengers to zoom-in on outside objects to see it in a brand new perspective.

*Translating the world in a local language – passengers are exposed to new languages and cultures as they can select elements outside the window and receive a real-time translation in a local language.

*Augmented Distances – pinpoint landmarks in the distance and the window will augment the relative distance to the car on the window surface.

*Virtual Constellations – the car’s panoramic roof displays virtual constellations and information about them with the actual sky as a background.

Created in 2004, Kansei Design Division is now one of the key pillars of Toyota’s European Research and Development, with no counterpart at Toyota Motor Corporation. The team plays an active role in advanced models and vehicle development, supported by in-depth research with academics. The new methodologies within the design strategy created by Kansei will strongly influence and guide the mid- to long-term vision of the future model line-up for Toyota and Lexus.

The Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design is an international centre of excellence in design, technology and prototyping established in 2006.

Two working prototypes of Toyota’s “Window to the World” concept will be among the displays at the “Our Future Mobility Now” exhibition, organised by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), from June 22 to 25 at the Autoworld Museum in Brussels, Belgium. You can also discover Toyota’s Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology and take a 3D tour of Toyota’s manufacturing facility in Burnaston, United Kingdom.

Please note: The video used to promote this vehicle concept is a simulation filmed in static, controlled environments. All health and safety requirements were met for the described conditions. Toyota will never promote unsafe behaviors, and will always encourage passengers to fasten their seatbelts.

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