Its been a year since BMW really amazed everyone at CES LAs vegas with its AirTouch function. A system that enables simple movements of a finger to carry out actions such as adjusting the loudness or accepting phone calls. Since then, the technology was introduced in mass production is available as BMW Gesture Control in the new BMW 7 Series.
Now, the technology is advancing even more, as AirTouch and its sensors installed in the area of the instrument dashboard, to respond to hand movements here, permit three-dimensional control. A movement of the hand or a gesture activates the surfaces on the large panorama display.
AirTouch allows the display in a vehicle to be operated like a touchscreen without actually having to make contact with the surface. This enables drivers or passengers to change the focus on the surface of the large panorama display. Simple confirmation selects the relevant menu item or activates an icon.
AirTouch has another option to confirm an action. A concealed AirTouch button is located on the rim of the steering wheel. It is on the left and easy to reach with the thumb, and it lights up when a menu or icon can be activated. One tap is sufficient to activate the desired program or change a setting. The passenger also has a button like this positioned on the side sill in the door area. Passengers are therefore able to use one hand to navigate through the menu and the other hand to confirm inputs very quickly.
The intelligent AirTouch menu control reduces the number of steps needed to make a selection. For example, when activating the phone pad, the system automatically brings up contacts or call lists to the top select level so that a call can be made with just one further action. AirTouch recognises which selection and control steps are required next and displays them in advance. This allows the driver to focus all their concentration on the road ahead or offers additional convenient control options when the vehicle is travelling in highly automated mode.