BMWs Gesture Control System

author image Saturday 04 June 2016, 10:00 AM Automobile Technology

When the Hollywood blockbuster, Minority Report had released in theatres back 2002, i’d been completely awed by the various technological advances that the movie featured. What i remember most vividly is the way, Tom Cruise had controlled the various interfaces of the ‘pre-crime’ division’s fugitive tracking system by what appeared to be sleight of hand. It had been one of my most intense introductions to the world of gesture controls.

BMWs gesture control system
BMWs gesture control system

If anyone’d told me that what was once thought as science-fiction, would become a reality within a decade and a half, i’d have had a jolly good laugh. Turns out, it is me who’s eating humble pie this time, for BMW’s gesture control system has brought the dream to life.

BMW cars have always been pushing the envelope when it comes to technological advancements that can serve to make driving a more exhilarating & involving experience. From the mental M-badged variants to the bleeding edge, even more Minority Report-ish, i8 sports car from the future - BMW has been doing it all.

When the news trickled in that BMW’s gesture control system had been introduced in the all-new, 2016, 7-Series flagship luxury sedan, i’d been absolutely stoked. The Bavarian manufacturer is calling it ‘Innovative Functionality’ - Innovations that are ahead of their time. BMW have said that fiddling with the infotainment system, (whether it is to adjust the volume and skip tracks or to work the navigation, and attend calls), can be extremely distracting. Now, these and other functions can be carried out by merely gesturing in the area in front of the system, thereby reducing the impact of distraction. So one can now swipe & point their way through various functions without really taking their eyes off the road. Keeping a close eye on things is a small sensor in the control panel in the roof. It uses the overhead cabin light to scan the area near the infotainment screen and help they system identify & respond to the various gesture controls.

The gesture control system in BMW cars is designed to help navigate through menus in a more personalized & intuitive way. It cites the example where one gestures to activate the phone calling feature. Normally, one would have to go through a generic phone menu that gives an overview of the functions available within, so individuals could choose depending upon their needs. But with gesture controls, drivers & co-passengers in the front seat could skip this and go straight to the recent calls section or a contacts search page.

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