Last week, BMW revealed information on their next generation Head-Up Display. First released in 2004, the Head-Up Display from BMW was the first system to use a color projector which provided driving-related information directly in the driver’s line of sight. The next generation Head-Up display arrived in 2011 and featured this time even more full-color graphics, a significant improvement over the first generation.

The next generation Head-Up Display acquires a so-called “contact analogue” functionality, widely known to others as Augmented Reality.

BMW says that “this is a technique whereby virtual “markings” are superimposed on real objects in the external environment, so that navigation information or information from the driver assistance systems can be displayed at exactly the right points on the driver’s view of the road scene. Navigation instructions can be blended into the road, and vehicles or safety-relevant objects can be highlighted or marked in context.”

BMW also says the contact analogue displays are a special form of augmented reality. The displayed information is integrated into the external environment in the correct perspective and at the actual point or points in the scene to which it relates, so that effectively the information appears to be “attached” to the external objects.

Some of the advantages of contact analog displays are the ability to display information right in the driver’s direct line of sigh, with the same information overlaid on the objects. The driver continues to remain focused and distractions are avoided.

To showcase these new capabilities, BMW releases a demo video: