CES 2017 – HoloActive Touch. New HOLO operating concept from BWM for the car.

BMW shows HoloActive Touch. The innovative operating concept for the interior of the vehicles of the future.

With groundbreaking concepts and revolutionary technology, the BMW Group is providing another glimpse into the future at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas.

Gesture control floating freely in space

The BMW HoloActive Touch system will be presented for the first time at CES. The innovative interface between driver and vehicle resembles a virtual touchscreen, whose display, which floats freely in space, is operated by finger gestures and acknowledges the commands issued in this way with a haptically perceptible feedback. BMW HoloActive Touch is part of the BMW i Inside Future study, which will give visitors to CES from January 5 to 8, 2017, an impression of the mobility experience in seamlessly connected and automated driving cars of the future.

BMW HoloActive Touch combines the advantages of the BMW Head-Up Display, BMW gesture control and the direct operation of a touchscreen and expands them to a unique form of user interface

For the first time, functions are controlled via a completely immaterial user interface that nevertheless enables the interaction between driver and vehicle that is familiar from conventional touchscreens and is both visible and tangible. BMW HoloActive Touch can also be used to control the wide range of BMW Connected services. This further emphasizes the seamless integration of the personal digital mobility assistant through the particularly intuitive interaction.

Control of the operating elements without touching

At CES in Las Vegas, BMW has already presented groundbreaking advances in the field of display and operating concepts in previous years. In 2015, the BMW gesture control technology was introduced there, which is now available in both the new BMW 7 Series and the new BMW 5 Series. Another step was shown at CES 2016 with the AirTouch system. Here, simple gestures with the flat of the hand are enough to activate command fields on a large panoramic display in the dashboard without having to touch the user interface.

With BMW HoloActive Touch, the operating process and interaction with the vehicle can be experienced even more intensively. The image of a full-color display is generated by clever mirroring – similar to the head-up display – but is not shown on the windshield, but floating freely in the interior. It shows freely configurable buttons and will be visible to the driver next to the steering wheel at center console level. In this area, which is conveniently accessible to the driver, a camera records his hand movements. In particular, it registers the position of the fingertips. As soon as they touch one of the virtual buttons, a haptic impulse is emitted and the linked function is activated.

How does BMW HoloActive Touch work?

According to information from Techcrunch, BWM is developing HoloActive Touch together with the British company Ultrahaptics. The focus is on tactile but invisible controls that could revolutionize the automotive market. Ultrasonic waves are emitted in a targeted manner and detected in combination with cameras, allowing invisible buttons to be placed freely in the room, which then actually feel like buttons. In principle, gesture control is combined with a haptic component here. Apparently, this technology is combined with a hologram projector, so that a free-floating image is to be projected into the vehicle’s interior, comparable to other holographic projectors

When will BMW HoloActive Touch be on the market?

The concept car presented at CES is expressly a study and not a finished model ready for the market. So it will be a while before the first car buyers will be able to enjoy the new BMW HoloActive Touch technology.

Conclusion : “Great technical approach – exciting concept!”

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