The augmented reality racing helmet is finally here (sort of) thanks to Acura

The augmented reality racing helmet is finally here (sort of) thanks to Acura

By | July 11th, 2017
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Four celebrities will race on an augmented reality course in the new TLX

A-Spec.


														
							

On Monday, Acura announced it’s sort of making one of my dreams come true. As a way to launch the new 2018 TLX A-Spec, it’s debuting an augmented reality helmet. Four “technology influencers”—Zachary Levi, Sam Gorski, Dom Esposito, and Maude Garrett (no, I’ve never heard of them either)—are going to compete against each other in a race that will be livestreamed on Facebook at 8pm EDT (1am UK). Each driver gets three laps, competing to set the fastest time of the day. But this is no ordinary time-trial or autocross; it’s an augmented reality course with obstacles that will change on each of the three laps.

The special helmets, developed with help from Current Studios, use a gyroscope to monitor the drivers’ head positions relative to the environment. A full-color, 80-degree HD augmented reality view of the track is projected onto the visor. The actual graphics are being displayed on a 5-inch HD screen in a custom console on the back seat, which is then projected onto the visor. Data from the cars’ ABS system (wheel speed and direction) will be used to position the obstacles relative to each of the TLXs.

Since this is 2017 and audience engagement is the name of the game, viewers will also have a chance to affect the outcome. Acura says that “[p]rompts will encourage fans to use reaction emojis throughout the race, revealing shortcuts and clearing obstacles to influence the course’s landscape.” Take that, Formula E fan boost!

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Nisheeth Bhakuni