Zeeland, MI —Mirror, mirror on the glass…soon drivers will be able to access e-mail, make phone calls, get directions, and check carbon monoxide levels, simply with a word or glance to the mirror.
Because of its position on the windshield, the rearview mirror gets excellent reception, making it an ideal portal for wireless communication. With instrument panels and overhead consoles already crowded with features, it is an inexpensive alternative that does not require a complete redesign with model changes.
Some General Motors vehicles are currently equipped with an OnStar button on the rearview mirror to allow drivers to access directions, alert an OnStar advisor in emergency situations, and even make hotel reservations.
To assist nighttime driving, Gentex Corp. has pioneered electrochromic, automatic-dimming mirrors, which use sensors to detect glare. Other mirrors indicate tire pressure, check weather, and alert the driver of a possible collision.
Gentex next intends to tackle digital communication by developing hands-free Internet and e-mail communications. Using a few key words and a hands-free microphone, wireless modems will be able to connect to the Web via voice recognition.