Mid-air button operation a possibility for car infotainment systems
Cool technology news for you gadget lovers. In the not too distant future you might be able to control things like your in-car sat nav and stereo by moving your hand in mid air!
With more and more new cars coming fitted with touch screen infotainment systems that work a little like smartphones, concerns regarding safety have been raised. Car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover understands these concerns and is working on a series of research projects that will incorporate technology into cars to reduce the number of accidents caused by distractions, stress or daydreaming.
In-car technology can be dangerous if drivers take their eyes off the road for more than a fleeting glance. Jaguar Land Rover has been working on a prototype Predictive Infotainment Screen that uses cameras to track the driver’s hand movements and predict which button the driver wants to press. This means selection takes place mid air, without the driver actually having to touch the screen. Telematics Wire has reported that “in user trials this increases the speed of successful button selection by 22 per cent and therefore reduces the amount of time the driver is looking at the screen with their eyes off the road.”
Telematics Wire has also reported that Jaguar Land Rover is going to be working with Ultrahaptics to investigate the use of mid-air touch for its Predictive Infotainment Screen. Ultrahaptics develops technology that uses ultrasound to produce haptic feedback. This means that you would be able to ‘feel’ the virtual button in mid air as the technology tracks your hand and allows you to control buttons and switches within the car. It’s all clever stuff and could increase road safety by allowing the driver to keep their gaze on the road ahead.
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