Making its debut next month at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), BMW’s HoloActive Touch system is said to offer a glimpse into the interior of the future.
The 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.
HoloActive Touch is part of the BMW i Inside Future study, which gives visitors to the CES an impression of the mobility experience set to be offered by seamlessly connected and autonomously-driving cars in the future.
It brings together the advantages of the Head-Up Display, gesture control and direct touchscreen operation, adding extra features to create a unique form of user interface. For the first time, functions can be controlled without any physical contact with materials, but the technology still enables visible and tangible driver-vehicle interaction familiar from conventional touchscreens.
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.
HoloActive Touch, which also allows access to the BMW Connected personal digital mobility companion, will be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, from 5–8 January 2017.