With Windows 8 Microsoft is attempting to break beyond traditional “Windows” barriers, in a strategy to bring its technology into new devices such as tablets. Beyond that though, Microsoft has also recently gotten behind several unique projects that are just a little bit different.
Modularis/Microsoft Police Car Project
First up, we have the Modularis and Microsoft project to create a police car that is armed with Windows 8 technology. Interestingly enough, the cop car had voice activation for opening doors, closing doors, and even turning on the sirens.
Beyond in-car voice functions there are also some pretty cool remote tablet functions designed around a special Windows 8 Metro app.
Check out the video below to see a hands-on look at this interesting project.
Next up, we have an even more interesting looking Microsoft project, this time with the company working with West Coast Customs (of “Pimp My Ride” fame). What we have here is a highly customized Windows and Xbox-powered 2012 Ford Mustang, though with a 1967 replica body in matte black finish under the name “Project Detroit”.
Formally, the car is expected to be unveiled on Discovery’s Velocity Network this upcoming Sunday.
So what does Windows 8 technology bring to this interesting project? First off, the car has a 4G hotspot mode, connects to Bing Maps, has Windows Azure tracking for things like GPS location, and has Viper’s Smart Start system.
What this does is allow remote unlocking and starting, to name just a few things it can do.
Where things get really cool is that it has a built-in touch-screen with different dashboard skins, and passenger and driver-side heads-up displays with augmented reality that can put data up on the windshield.
With this power you can have Bing Map data and even games and movies up the windshield. It can also be adjusted just to show off a movie/game to the passenger-side of the windshield, as to not distract the driver.
Ford Sync is also here, but the real magic is in Windows 8 functions and the inclusion of both an integrated Xbox 360 and Kinect.
Still not sold? The system also has external audio that allows you to say things on your Windows Phone to the outside world, and even allows for custom ringtones for your horn, instead of the regular beep noises we all know and love (or hate).
There are also cool features like skeltal stracking and live video feeds of surrounding areas and objects provided by Kinect and remotely viewable through Windows Phone.
Last but not least, you can even put a message on the rear window using the Windows-powered technology.
While both of these projects are very interesting I really like the strong connection between Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Xbox/Kinect with Project Detroit. I truly believe that Microsoft’s strength in the coming years will have a lot to do with cross-connectivity between its multiple platforms.
This is something that Microsoft clearly seems focused on, starting by bringing Metro-like interfaces to Windows Phone, Windows 8, and even the Xbox 360.
Forward thinking projects like the two above make me feel that Microsoft understands that their success will be found in a lot more than just desktops. Their ability to be part of new and unique projects like Kinect and these two automobile systems is just a testament to their ability to adapt and change with the times. What do you think of these two projects? Any potential? Share your thoughts below.