At the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, visitors will surely be excited by the BMW’s concept car as it hints at how car technology may develop in the future. With an emphasis on connecting the driver, the vehicle and mobile devices, BMW has developed a range of vehicles using the AirTouch facility.
This exciting new feature enables the driver to control communications, navigation and entertainment with simple hand gestures similar to Xbox and Wii hand commands. The display can be operated like a touch screen but without the need for the driver to actually make contact with the screen. Sensors positioned between the central console and the interior mirror read hand gestures to select menu features or activate icons.
Gesture control is not a new concept for BMW. Last year, they revealed finger gesture control at the CES. Using ‘Tommy Thumb’ style gestures, the driver can operate volume control or receive telephone calls, making operating the car ‘child’s play’.
This very technology has already been made available to BMW 7 Series drivers. The AirTouch advances this technology to the next level by facilitating three dimensional control using hand gestures. With the wave of a hand, the surface of the large panorama display is automatically activated.
Ensuring the driver always remains in control, BMW has added the option of a button that the driver can use to confirm the action of passengers. This feature is also available for passengers allowing the driver to concentrate on the road.
The AirTouch menu control has been designed to keep hand gestures to a minimum so that the driver can make quick selections. For example, when the driver wants to place a call, the system automatically brings up contacts and call lists, as it might do on your mobile for ease of access.
AirTouch is also intelligent, it thinks ahead to the next steps that you might require and displays these options in advance. This reduces the amount of time the driver’s hand needs to be off the wheel. When the vehicle is in automatic driving mode, there are a range of other convenient control gestures available to accommodate the driving condition.