Microsoft turns the windshield into a desktop

Microsoft submits a patent for a complex heads-up display on car windshields.

Microsoft's patent for a heads-up display shows useful information. Microsoft

The patent-watchers over at Slashdot found this interesting submission: a patent application from Microsoft for an Adaptive heads-up user interface for automobiles. Reading through the obscure language of patents, we managed to glean that the engineers who came up with the system want to move all the information currently displayed on navigation screens, car stereos, cell phones, and instruments onto the windshield. The patent cites safety concerns with our current gadget-laden autos and selves, where people are constantly taking their eyes off the road to look at this or that screen. And instead of crowding the windshield with every bit of information possible, the patent indicates that the heads-up display would be adaptive, showing information based on user and vehicle input. It even suggest some novel user input methods, such as tracking head and eye movements, along with the more mundane button and voice command inputs. The diagrams submitted with the patent show some good ideas, such as vehicle, music, environment, and navigation information displayed in small boxes around the edges of the windshield, to more extreme ideas, such as placing your current day's task list front and center. And we're sure it will integrate with Outlook. Cue the Microsoft builds a car jokes in...3...2...1.

A task list seems intrusive on a heads-up display. Microsoft

(Source: Slashdot)

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Last-minute gift ideas

Under pressure? These will deliver on time

With plenty of top-notch retailers offering digital gifts, you still have time to salvage your gift-giving reputation.