As we dive deeper into the era of the so-called "Internet of Things" (IoT), some exciting things are happening. One of them is a joint collaboration between Ford and Intel to make automobiles more connected, which would include the ability to remotely view what's happening inside your vehicle using a smartphone app, as well as give or deny permission to guest drivers. Those are just two examples of what could come out of Project Mobii.
Mobii stands for Mobile Interior Imaging, and just like it sounds, Ford and Intel are exploring ways how interior-facing cameras sporting sensor technology and various inputted data can best be utilized in tomorrow's vehicles. There are several scenarios already on the drawing board. For example, using facial recognition technology, a Mobii-equipped vehicle would know who is behind the wheel and adjust the parameters accordingly. Let's say your 16-year-old son who just earned his driver's license gets behind the wheel. You could configure a profile that sets a top speed that he's allowed to achieve. You could also set a maximum volume for the radio and engage the safety belt.
"Our goal with the Mobii research is to explore how drivers interact with technology in the car and how we can then make that interaction more intuitive and predictive," said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president, Ford Research and Innovation. "The use of interior imaging is purely research at this point; however, the insights we've gained will help us shape the customer experience in the long term."
Gesture control also plays into Mobii. To open a sunroof, you could point up at the car's ceiling and issue the "Open" command, or you could point to the dash where's there's a phone icon and make a phone call.
Mobii's also about personalizing the driving experience. When you first enter the vehicle, Mobill's front-facing cameras will detect who you are and then display personalized information specific to the driver -- things like calendar, music, and contacts. If Mobii detects a passenger is also in the car, a privacy mode kicks in and only display navigation.
At present, Project Mobii is only a research experiment, but given the rapid pace of technology, we could see this ending up vehicles in the not-too-distant future.