The German giant will present a Vision Car; essentially a load of new tech in an updated version of its electric i8 Spyder concept. Top of the ‘user interface’ tree is AirTouch, which interprets hand gestures in mid air to control devices.
One of the most dangerous things you can do while driving is fiddle with buttons and touchscreen devices to change music options, satnav or climate control. According to the Transport Research Laboratory, drivers consistently underestimate the time it takes to refocus on the road once they look back up.
To combat this, BMW has developed AirTouch, a 3D control manipulated by flat-hand movements that don’t make contact with a surface. Sensors record the hand movements in the area between the central console and interior mirror, so drivers or passengers can activate settings.
A rudimentary version of AirTouch unveiled at last year’s CES, called BMW Gesture Control, is already available in the 7-series, where a moving finger can adjust volume or accept phone calls. The new version can respond to entire 3D hand gestures, which activate the surfaces on a large panorama display. To confirm actions, there’s also a button on the steering wheel for the driver, and one on the side sill of the door for passengers.
Cue plenty of arguments between passenger and driver….
Image and video courtesy of BMW