Hand gestures are not exclusive to the gamers
The most recent generation of gaming consoles have shown that hand and body gesture interpretation is definitely a trend for the future. The Xbox Kinect, the Playstation Move and the Nintendo Wii have paved the way for the technology of translating human movements and gestures into functions that software can use, and it now seems that this same type of approach is heading for the automotive industry as well.
Actually there’ve been rumors about this type of technology for a couple of months now, when Microsoft placed a job ad that alluded to using body movements for various automobile controls, but that posting only alluded to such things, usually these types of things are kept pretty close to the vest.
There has been however, a little confirmation that this type of technology is worked on by Harmon. They’re makers of automotive audio systems as well as other aftermarket electronics and they’ve released a concept car that uses a variety of body motions in order to control various in-car features.
Some of the movements that were mentioned in the concept relate to turning the radio on and off with a simple wink, adjusting the volume by tilting one’s head slightly and skipping tracks on a CD or changing radio stations with the slight tap of your hand on the steering wheel. But what about making phone calls? Talking on your phone while in your car is after all one of the most distracting things that you can do while in your car – and it is forbidden in many countries for good reason. Well if you want to make a Bluetooth hands-free call, all you’ll have to do with this technology is the universally known hand signal for a telephone – the simple thumb to your ear and extend your pinky.
We should mention that this approach isn’t exactly new, Cadillac’s CUE system makes use of gestures as well but you still have to touch a screen, much like you would do with a smartphone or a tablet. It is thought that the introduction of gestures and infrared sensors to control the various car features will help drivers avoid potential distractions since they won’t have to deal with buttons or knobs.
It’s very interesting to see where all of this will go, there are obviously problems to this approach as well, but we’ll just have to wait and see what the technology allows for and how the tests go.
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