BMW bets big on video and mixed reality at CES 2024 | CAR Magazine

BMW bets big on video and mixed reality at CES 2024

Published: 09 January 2024 Updated: 09 January 2024

► BMW launches new video services onboard
► Next-gen AR and MR specs and displays
► Plus Alexa AI built-in voice control, obvs

BMW picked the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to showcase its next generation of in-car tech – with the emphasis on video services onboard, augmented and mixed reality, plus an updated voice control harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI).

Rather than any one tech taking top honours, the Munich stand focused on a raft of digital technical features and services which will make incremental improvements to its product line-up in the months and years ahead.

The ability to play multi-player video games was one eye-catching new feature – as well as the ability to watch live or streamed TV on catch-up, when the driver is parked up. 

The features will be part of the new ConnectedDrive App Store.

BMW OS9: new games and apps in the ConnectedDrive Store

The latest BMW operating system is OS9 which is compatible with BMW Digital Premium, allowing customers to download an ever-growing list of apps and services. 

New at CES was the integration of Bluetooth gaming controllers, which means passengers can play computer games when parked up, as demonstrated by a demo of Beach Buggy Racing 2. This feature will be launched later in 2024 and supplements the existing AirConsole app which lets owners use their smartphone as controllers to play numerous games onboard.

TiVo live TV and streaming syncs with OS9

OS8.5 and OS9 are now able to stream video services on the central display using the TiVo operating system, too (above). This was launched first in the new BMW 5-series an will join other models in the coming months. It is compatible with the UK.

Also on show was the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant powered by Amazon’s Alexa AI service. It uses a large language model (LLM) to improve the voice commands given and received by users.

Augmented reality driving glasses: BMW is confident the future will be blended

From head-up displays to augmented reality, Munich has been playing with drive intel for decades. It showed new XReal Air 2 AR glasses at CES 2024, which allow users to see navigation instructions, hazard warnings and infotainment data streamed into their line of sight, wherever they look.

XReal Air 2 AR glasses at CES 2024

It’s not dissimilar to the ConnectedRide smartglasses it’s been developing for BMW Motorrad – smart eyewear for bikers that does a similar task and is already on sale for £590. We tried them here.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words