Today MINI is taking the wraps off of what they call MINI Mixed Reality. A merging the virtual and real worlds, MINI Mixed Reality immerses drivers in a virtual world that works in tandem with the real world. And if it works, it might just point to the future of the brand and driving itself.

We know the BMW Group has been experimenting in the mixed reality space for awhile. A couple years ago we went hands on at BimmerFile with the BMW Dee concept and even envisioned about what it could mean for MINI. While it didn’t use a VR headset, what we saw through the multiple 4K windshield projectors was the most immersive mixed reality experience we had seen yet. This MINI concept seemingly takes that to another level with the use of a modern VR headset.

mixed reality

MINI Mixed Reality combines the experience of driving with the immersive capabilities of virtual reality technology. This is how it works; as you sit inside a MINI with the headset on, your surroundings transform. Through a VR headset, you see the world outside the windows as a vibrant, virtual MINI Virtual Reality World, while still being able to navigate through the actual environment via camera streams. It’s a seamless integration of the physical and digital realms, offering a new dimension to the driving experience.

According to MINI, the Mixed Reality experience is not just about driving. It’s a test bed that allows drivers to see the world through the lens of the MINI brand.

mixed reality

Behind the magic of MINI Mixed Reality lies a sophisticated system: a high-end PC running a self-designed MINI VR World, streaming seamlessly to the headset. Making this possible is headset tracking, acceleration, sound, and vehicle interface devices that work in harmony creating a new kind of driving experience.

MINI Mixed Reality isn’t just a novelty. If you read between the lines it’s clear that MINI and BMW believe some element of mixed reality is the future of driving. The first vehicle we’ll likely see is the BMW Neue Klasse generation of vehicles that will introduce the new version of iDrive. You can see a preview where we went hands-on with the tech.