There have been several attempts by a few car manufacturers to reinvent the owner’s manual. Hyundai tried swapping in iPads with the Equus, while Chrysler made the switch to a digital format in 2010. Dodge even released a smart phone app that contained all the info found in the paper manual.


Audi, on the other hand, has taken things to a whole new level, using augmented reality. Augmented reality allows users to project information onto screens, usually through a camera phone, and this is how Audi does it.

Metaio, the world leader in augmented reality (AR) software and solutions, has partnered with Audi AG to release the Audi A3 eKurzinfo augmented reality mobile application. The app is capable of recognizing 300 individual parts of the Audi A3 and will provide relevant how-to information and even virtual overlays of maintenance instructions animated in real-time 3D. For example, if you point your phone’s camera at the engine temperature gauge, the app will explain what the gauge measures. If the temperature reading is too high, the app will even show you where to find the coolant tank and provide instructions on how to fill it to the appropriate level.

In the future, Metaio sees visualization technology decreasing the need for lengthy, costly and complex user manuals. Car owners should be able to access information instantly and directly from the car itself.

“After the remarkable success of the first version of the eKurzinfo application, we are delighted to continue our partnership with the Audi AG. We see enormous potential in the field of interactive service applications. In the future it will be possible to automatically retrieve the specific information relevant in a certain situation”, Dr. Thomas Alt, CEO of Metaio.

The eKurzinfo is available for free download on iOS devices in the App Store in English, German and Japanese. Check out the video to watch the eKurzinfo in action: