The On-the-Roads Bigness of 1993 Visionary Technology

Cool? Or Just Clunky? The Fight Over Dashboard Touch Screens,” says a headline today in the New York Times.
Without mentioning it, the Times report tells of the aftermath of technology that was honored thirty years ago with an Ig Nobel Prize. The Times explains:

do-it-all touch screens, the nerve centers of many new cars, have sparked a backlash because of their size, as well as the clunky interfaces that may take eyes off the road…. For those leery of astral projections blocking their view of I-95, Mr. Langer said that drivers could choose any display level. A “mixed reality slider” can limit traditional information, such as a speedometer, to a thin strip of lower windshield, where today’s head-up displays s already operate. Drivers more at ease with digital projections can fill more of the windshield glass with content….

Schiffman’s Ig Nobel Prize

The 1993 Ig Nobel Prize for Visionary Technology was awarded jointly to Jay Schiffman of Farmington Hills, Michigan, crack inventor of AutoVision, an image projection device that makes it possible to drive a car and watch television at the same time, and to the Michigan state legislature, for making it legal to do so.

Schiffman’s work is documented in US patent #5061996A. (The technical drawing you see, above, is from that patent.)