Site Network: Home |

Gates' sights set on automobiles with his gizmos

Bill Gates paid a visit to Detroit's auto industry Friday, hoping to convince manufacturers and suppliers that the Microsoft Corp. software which runs 90 percent of the world's computers can help cars and trucks be more convenient, safer, easier to maintain and fun to drive.

More than 400 high-level executives heard Gates do an afternoon sales pitch at the Ford Convention and Expo Center in Dearborn. Afterward, Gates and Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Bill Ford strolled across the street, where the Microsoft chairman and chief software architect announced a $1-million gift to the Henry Ford for a new exhibit on the evolution of technology.

But before that, Gates sat down with the Free Press to talk tech and show off a new device Microsoft will offer to dealership service garages.

The device, which can be built into a baseball cap or worn as a visor, contains a tiny piece of translucent plastic that projects the equivalent of a 17-inch computer screen before the wearer's eyes.

Microsoft says mechanics can use the $3,995 device to look simultaneously -- and hands-free -- at, say, a car engine and the computerized image of a wiring diagram.

"This is a very cool thing," said Gates, who, despite a conservative dark-blue business suit and tie worn to fit in with the auto execs, seemed every bit the geek at heart as we talked about gizmos and gadgets.

Called the Nomad Expert Technician System and marketed by a Microsoft partner company called Microvision, the device uses the same technology found on Apache attack helicopters.

"This type of heads-up display is a great aid in giving you an informational overlay for complex procedures," Gates said. "It can even be miniaturized further so that you don't have to wear a contraption. The whole thing could fit on, say, a pair of glasses."

The system uses Microsoft software and a control box that clips on a waistband for navigation. Microsoft is currently piloting the program with a couple of car dealerships on the West Coast, he said.

In a few years, said Gates, the same technology could be used to give drivers information without taking their eyes off the road.

"If we look at a 5-year time frame," he said, "we can use the heads-up display in the car itself so that when you're driving and need a map, you are not looking down but it's imbedded right in the windshield, like it is on the Apache."

It also could be used with mobile phones, Gates said, as a sort of wearable computer that provides what he says is "glanceable information."

"The cost still needs to come down before this can be imminent, but if somebody's calling you, this could show you on the heads-up display who is calling," he said. "That would sure be better than going into your pocket and pulling out a phone."

Gates brought along 25 of his company's industry partners to demonstrate things like the heads-up display to showcase the corporation's involvement in the auto industry.


Post a Comment

This website does not recommend the purchase or sale of any stocks, options, bonds or any investment of any kind. This website does not provide investment advice. Disclaimer and Notices: Disclaimer: This website may contain "forward-looking" information including statements concerning the company's outlook for the future, as well as other statements of beliefs, future plans and strategies or anticipated events, and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. The forward-looking information and statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements. The information on this website includes forward looking statements, including statements regarding projections of future operations, product applications, development and production, future benefits of contractual arrangements, growth in demand, as well as statements containing words like believe, estimate, expect, anticipate, target, plan, will, could, would, and other similar expressions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results could differ materially from the results implied or expressed in the forward looking statement. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward looking statements are included in MVIS most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the heading 'Risk factors related to the company's business,' and our other reports filed with the Comission from time to time. Except as expressly required by Federal securities laws, MVIS Blog undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in circumstances, or other reasons. Legal Notice: Although considerable care has been taken in preparing and maintaining the information and material contained on this website, MVIS Blog makes no representation nor gives any warranty as to the currency, completeness, accuracy or correctness of any of the elements contained herein. Facts and information contained in the website are believed to be accurate at the time of posting. However, information may be superseded by subsequent disclosure, and changes may be made at any time without prior notice. MVIS Blog shall not be responsible for, or liable in respect of, any damage, direct or indirect, or of any nature whatsoever, resulting from the use of the information contained herein. While the information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. MVIS Blog has not independently verified the facts, assumptions, and estimates contained on this website. Accordingly, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to, and no reliance should be placed on the fairness, accuracy, or completeness of the information and opinions contained on this website. Consequently, MVIS Blog assumes no liability for the accompanying information, which is being provided to you solely for evaluation and general information. This website does not contain inside information, proprietary or confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements or otherwise.