BMW Group will provide another glimpse into the interior of the future at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas as its HoloActive Touch system makes its debut.
This innovative interface between the driver and vehicle acts like a virtual touchscreen; its free-floating display is operated using finger gestures and confirms the commands with what the driver perceives as tactile feedback. It is part of the automaker's i Inside Future study, which will give visitors to CES an impression of the mobility experience set to be offered by seamlessly connected and autonomously driving cars in the future.
HoloActive Touch brings together the advantages of the Head-Up Display, gesture control and direct touchscreen operation, and adds extra features to create a unique form of user interface. For the first time, the functions can be controlled without any physical contact with materials, but the technology still enables the visible and tangible driver-vehicle interaction familiar from conventional touchscreens. HoloActive Touch also allows the user to access the wide variety of services provided by Connected. The seamless integration of the personal digital mobility companion is highlighted even more vividly by the extremely intuitive interaction.
BMW's gesture control technology unveiled at the show in 2015 is now available in the 7 Series and 5 Series models. AirTouch system showcased at CES 2016 took things a step further; here, the user employs simple gestures made with an open hand to activate control pads on a large panoramic display in the dashboard without having to touch the control interface.
HoloActive Touch takes operating these functions and interacting with the vehicle to another level. Similarly to the Head-Up Display, the image of a full-colour display is generated by clever use of reflections – but now in free-floating form within the interior rather than through projection onto the windscreen. It displays flexibly configurable control pads and is visible to the driver next to the steering wheel at the height of the centre console. A camera detects the driver's hand movements within this ergonomically user-friendly area, and registers the position of their fingertips, in particular. As soon as a fingertip makes contact with one of these virtual control surfaces, a pulse is emitted and the relevant function is activated.