The annual Consumer Electronics Show has developed into a showcase as vital for new automotive technology as any auto show. And with the 2017 edition set to open just weeks from now, BMW has given us a glimpse at what it has in store.
Among the “selection of trailblazing concepts and revolutionary technology” that the German manufacturer has in store for the Vegas tech expo is the new BMW HoloActive Touch system that will form part of the BMW i Inside Future concept.
Despite the name, HoloActive Touch is an entirely touchless interface that combines gesture control with a holographic projection to allow the driver to interact with the vehicle’s infotainment functions in a futuristic, almost Minority Report-like fashion.
Rather than asking the operator to twirl his or her fingers in the air, it projects what looks like an actual screen, and even uses electronic pulses to provide virtual haptic feedback – all to make it feel like there’s an actual physical interaction taking place, even when there isn’t.
BMW will also showcase a new version of its head-up display that uses reflections to project a full color image in open space instead of on the windshield itself, and a virtual control pads next to the steering wheel that (similar to the HoloActive and gesture control systems) uses cameras and pulse-based feedback to respond to inputs.
Of course all of these technologies are strictly for demonstration at present. But with gesture control already available on the 5 Series and 7 Series, we wouldn’t be surprised to see these and other new technologies brought to market in the near future.