The rumor mills have been up and running. Speculation surrounding the work Tesla has done on augmented reality (AR) just got more semblance of credibility following reports that the electric automaker has hired top industrial designer Andrew Kim who has worked on the HoloLens- the AR headset of Microsoft.
The news was confirmed by Slashgear through a change in Kim’s LinkedIn profile. Kim, who has worked with Microsoft for the past three years, will join Tesla as Lead Designer. Apart from working on HoloLens, he also has considerable expertise in the design of the Xbox One S.
Though the kind of projects that Kim would be working on in Tesla are yet to be revealed, it’s evident that the EV (electric vehicle) automaker has planned an ambitious roadmap ahead. The company has affirmed that it would launch an all-new Roadster sometime in the future, while Elon Musk has also hinted at a Tesla pick-up truck. All of this with the release of the Model 3 still to come near the end of 2017.
Musk, who has a penchant for changing the traditional car cabin, might employ Kim’s expertise in designing a new Augmented Reality windshield or heads-up display that could replace the dashboard, have a more minimalist design for the steering wheel, or improve safety features by imbibing holographic and AR interfaces.
Could we see a Tesla AR headset in the future? Or maybe, with the recent acquisition of SolarCity by Tesla, some new designs for future Powerwall batteries and related hardware? Given Musk’s tendency to reveal things without wasting an ounce of time, we may very well expect some major announcement from the billionaire entrepreneur anytime in the near future.
For now we have to wonder if everything Musk is currently creating is made with a bigger picture in mind. Is he using Tesla as a way to experiment with cabin design for future space craft? Will the first privatized production plant on Mars produce solely Tesla products? Until we are able to personally board The Heart of Gold we may never know.