GM Sees Future With No Bored Kids in Back

GM Sees Future With No Bored Kids in Back

DETROIT (MainStreet) -- In Chevrolet's second century, GM (Stock Quote: GM) hasn't given up on solving a long-standing problem: Kids get bored in the backseat.

GM asked researchers at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel to devise ways to help backseat passengers, particularly children, enjoy travel more with interactive display windows. Since it has no immediate plans to put such windows on its vehicles, GM gave the researchers free reign to create applications without regard for a transition to mass production.

The results included Otto, an animated character who can be projected over passing scenery and who responds to car performance, weather and landscape. Another application enhances an existing pastime, finger drawing on window steam. Yet another lets passengers stream and share music and messages with passengers in other cars.

If such interactive windows were to be put into production they likely would use electronically charged "smart glass" technology, which is capable of variable states of translucence and transparency and can reflect projected images, GM said.

While smart glass is increasingly used in architectural and display applications, it is rarely seen in cars, except in movies such as Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

You may think that some fairly recent technologies have already enabled you to keep traveling kids occupied, but GM is way past that. It contends that "DVD players and Game Boys are so five years ago."

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