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Weird the Normal: Car Windshield

Published onOct 07, 2019
Weird the Normal: Car Windshield

Task: A quick Pub in which you either “Weird the normal and normal the weird” i.e , take a technology or process you find weird and explain how you would “normalize” it. What tools would you use? Or the opposite. Take something mundane and boring and describe how you would DE-normalize it to expose its true weirdness or exercise it. Include an image and a description.

Normal object: car windshield.

Inspiration: forgetting the speed limit or the type of zone I am driving in - missing the signs. Why don’t we have that info somewhere on the windshield? Is projection, head-up-display, nanotech that far away? What else could a windshield do for us? In order to help me imagine how to weird the normal, I think of what it could become in 2050 (roughly 30 years from now.)

Brief History: the windshield was first introduced a century ago to protect the driver from the outside elements such as wind, debris, and UV light. It has gone through continuous improvement in material composition of the glass throughout the years [1].

Windshield are made of laminated glass, so when impacted it will shatter but still hold together.

Photo credit: [2]

Weird the normal ~ Material science could add some weird factors to the car windshield of 2050:

  • Information display: the windshield now contains an additional electronic layer that enables information display that could be programmed using the driver’s wearable device (ID-Watch). The purpose of the windshield isn’t just to protect us from the outside elements, it can also enhance driver’s attention by showing essential information to help with the driving. The layout/UI of the information displayed on the windshield will be setup according to the driver’s preference (info contained in their ID-Watch).

Some users might prefer minimal information display on the windshield. Here we see the speed limit info displaying on the far left side.

  • Self-healing: the external layer of the windshield is made of shape-shifting material. During an accident, the affected region of the glass will shatter and hold together just like in laminated glass. However, after removing the foreign object, the windshield will heal itself becoming normal again. Since everything is contained in the external layers, the flexible electronic layer will remain unaffected by the impact.

Example of self-healing capabilities from a 2016 research. Source [3]

Another example of self-healing glass. Research discovery from 2017. Source [4]



[2] Man driving car photo created by fanjianhua -



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