Growing up these days can be tough. Things were so much simpler back when I was a kid. The best part back then was that we were allowed to be kids. These days, children have to grow up so fast just to be able to cope with the world around them. I’m glad when I see new technologies being developed that offer children today a little more time to use their imagination and develop their creativity, and this is one of those concepts.
I remember taking road trips with my parents when I was young. I’m not going to lie to you; it was torture to ride in the backseat for hours while we drove to visit family over the holidays. You can only play I-Spy and read so many books before your skin is crawling to get out of the car.
These days cars come with DVD players in the backseat for kids to watch movies on long trips, but where is the imagination and creativity in that? Toyota Motor Europe and the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design recently came up with a concept that I’m so excited about. It makes me want to be a passenger in the backseat again.
The concept is called “Window to the World,” and it allows the user to interact with the world outside the window by tracing and drawing with his or her fingers on the window in an augmented reality kind of way. Remember how we used to put our mouths close up to the window and breathe on it, and then draw on that (or was that just me?). This is like that on steroids. It even has a zoom feature! Are those cows or sheep in that field? Zoom right in to check it out. Oh yeah… #fun! Although some of the things typed in the Toyota YouTube description for this make me gag (Toyota, could you be any more uncool? We get it that you promote using seatbelts and safety comes first. Ugh…), I think this concept is brilliant!