BMW To Preview New AirTouch At CES

Building on last year’s demonstration of a gesture control system to control its cars, BMW has decided to show the improvements it has made over the last year at the upcoming CES.

Improvements every year for BMW

As the CES, the Consumer Electronic Show nears it’s 50th anniversary (the last 20 held in Las Vegas), imagine how an attendee at the debut show of 1967 would feel about what they would see at this year’s show. The progress companies make is startling on a year-to-year basis never mind over nearly five decades.

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For instance, last year BMW gave a demonstration of a gesture control system that it later worked into its 2015 7 series which allowed drivers to control basic phone and radio functions with a simple wave of the hand in addition to allowing drivers to forgo the company’s already impressive and now “classic” iDrive knob with a touchscreen.

This year at CES, BMW has promised to show those in attendance it’s improved gesture based control system: AirTouch. While a long ways from Tom Cruise trying to solve a “pre-crime” murder in the Spielberg film “Minority Report”, the new gesture controls will allow drivers to make a number of selections from the display without having to make contact with the touchscreen.

According to a recent press release from BMW:

“This feature empowers intuitive control of entertainment, navigation and communication functions using simple gestures made with a flat hand,” the release says. “AirTouch allows the display in a vehicle to be operated like a touchscreen without actually having to make contact with the surface.”

How does AirTouch work?

By installing a number of sensors throughout the automobile, drivers and passengers alike will be able to breeze through the car’s infotainment system with a series of hand gestures. These cameras and sensors monitor the users hands and presents the desired information on the car’s sizable display. Users will then be able to confirm their choice using one of two AirTouch keys with the driver’s being located on the steering wheel and the front seat passenger’s on his or her door.

It’s widely rumored that the new AirTouch system will be installed and demonstrated with the company’s updated i8 Spyder that will make its own debut at CES late next week in Las Vegas.