LG OMNIPOD concept car brings a whole new meaning to life on the road

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You don’t have to always wear a VR headset to enjoy the Metaverse, especially if you can just stay in your self-driving car and be at your desk even while commuting to your vacation.

CES 2022 was the first time in two years that the annual event returned to face-to-face interactions. Almost ironically, a lot of the showcases there revolved around virtual experiences, especially the kind that the Metaverse movement is trying to push. Being physically present in one place while virtually experiencing a different place at the same time is one of the biggest premises of this convergence of technologies, but most of them involve wearing some form of headset, whether it’s VR glasses or more stylish AR glasses. The Metaverse isn’t just about that, of course, and LG’s vision for the future of mobility tries to show how you can relax or even work while in transit to somewhere completely different.

Designate: LG

Like many futuristic concept cars, LG’s OMNIPOD is filled with displays. Not just the dashboard or front panels, but even the sides and ceiling of the vehicle. LG calls it an “expanding tunnel screen” or “meta-environment screen”, and it’s the part of the car that then tries to immerse the driver(s) in a virtual environment or, alternatively, give them a glimpse of the outside world without opening all the windows.

However, the car is not limited to displaying videos or virtual desktops. Every part of the vehicle is designed to make a person feel like they are in something other than a moving car. There’s a modular mini-fridge, for example, that even includes an induction cooker on top for cooking on the go. The spacious cabin of the OMNIPOD can be an office space or a recording studio, depending on your needs at the time. And, of course, the car’s screens will change to create a virtual environment that will make you feel like you’re really at work, perhaps to help boost your productivity.

Given the events of the past two years, there are also elements of sanitation in this shifting living space. An “air shower”, for example, propels passengers with negatively ionized air to remove dust and germs, while an LG Styler can hold your coats and shoes to sanitize them and keep them clean until what you need to wear them again. And after each trip, the car’s virtual assistant, Reah, will flood the cabin with UV light and roll the robot vacuums to prepare for its next use.

While some of these technologies are already available today, all of these futuristic conveniences rely on electric vehicles honing their self-driving capabilities. The LG OMNIPOD has the ability to drive manually, but without the typical steering wheel and controls anyway. It won’t replace RVs and cabins on wheels, especially with its lack of bathrooms and kitchens, but LG’s vision for future mobility raises some interesting points and questions, like how humans of the future might have a harder time being physically social when they don’t. They don’t even have to get out of their car most of the time.

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