At CES 2015, BMW declared that, it is quite possible that the next-generation iDrive control system will use touchscreen and be added with gesture control function, which enables the drivers to easily implement the functions of answering calls and adjusting volume through using gestures.
The iDrive system used by current BMW cars includes a control panel on the instrument area, LCD controller, a navigation button, an application program, a hand-free phone, and audio function. Well, the new-concept touchscreen of new iDrive system will be added with a camera so as to recognize gestures through driver control.
During a demonstration, Doctor Verena Reischl from BMW showed how the system operated a specific task through using gestures. When a call came, she pointed to the ai???responseai??? icon on the screen to answer it. To reject a call, she pointed to the right and slightly brushed it. To change the stereo volume, she only drew a circle with her finger in front of the screen, the camera mounted on the roof of the car would recognize her gesture and adjust the volume.
The biggest disadvantage of auto control interface is always letters-and-numbers input. The current BMW autos use complex switching interfaces and dialers. Reischl showed how to dial a number with the new system. When it came to the manual dialing screen of iDrive controller and the touchscreen show the current rotating interface, she pointed to the screen, and the screen changed to a numeric keypad that numbers can be input through touches.
The touchscreen and gesture control interface of BMW is now just a concept, which can be applied to autos ai???in one or two yearsai???, said by Reischl. However, the similar gesture recognition technology will be realized on tablets in the several years.