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Why Is Mini Bringing Ripped-Off Google Glass To Shanghai?

2015 Shanghai Auto Show

Spotting techbros on the road just got easier.

Someone needs to tell Mini that April Fools’ Day was last week. That’s the only explanation for these new augmented reality shades that are set to debut at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show. The specs are a bit like Google Glass in that people will laugh and wonder why you’re wearing them. In all seriousness, Mini worked with Qualcomm to develop the glasses, which do everything from providing directions to displaying text messages. They are designed to increase functionality and display info without distracting the driver.

Mini's glasses are essentially a more advanced heads-up display for your face. In addition to showing you pertinent driving information, such as speed, the glasses are hooked up to the car’s rear camera to assist with parking. They even offer pseudo x-ray powers, letting you see the A-pillars and doors, because everyone wants to see that stuff.While the technology certainly seems useful, wearables just don’t work right now. Mini is better off creating custom apps or just building a HUD system into the windshield. Subtly is key, and these glasses are anything but inconspicuous.

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