imaGinyze is a new app that brings augmented reality to your car via the iPhone. When mounted properly in the center of your dash, an iPhone with imaGinyze installed will detect the lane that you're in, marking it with border lines that match up with the painted lines on the road, and filling the inside with a blue overlay. Once the app has established your lane, it can detect any vehicles that are in front of you within a given range. imaGinyze will also flash a "Vehicle Ahead" alert when you're approaching a car from behind. Cars to the front are color-coded according to proximity – first green, next yellow as you approach, and then to red when you get close.
In the interests of safety, this range is appropriately far, giving the driver ample warning to decrease speed or switch lanes and pass. While changing lanes, the lane detection imposes a purple overlay on the road display (this is "lane departure mode") and alerts the driver to cars that might be in adjacent lanes.
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imaGinyze provides other information as well, such as the pitch of the road and the speed of the car, in case you don't trust your own speedometer.
The homepage for the application is clear to point out that your iPhone must be mounted at a height of about 1 to 1.5 meters in landscape mode. Some calibration might be required in order to ensure that the application functions properly.
It should be noted that this app, being one of the first of its kind, is probably not yet reliable enough to depend heavily on while driving. It's still just version 1.0 and user reviews over on the iTunes application page indicate that imaGinyze still needs a lot of work. While we have yet to test it out ourselves, we're excited to see such a promising development in the field of in-car AR technology and the potential it holds for the future of driving.
Personally, I'd love to see what the Japanese AR gurus at Sekai Camera could do in this field.
Be sure to check out imaGinyze's video demo below to get a better sense of how the application works while driving.