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BMW: the future of in-car tech is holograms
New system lets drivers control the satnav with jazz hands
BMW buyers, listen up: you’ll soon be interacting with your ultimate driving machine in a whole new way, thanks to a new control method that’s even more complicated than iDrive.
Set to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in the first part of January, the technology “acts like a virtual touchscreen” which is “operated using finger gestures and confirms the commands with what the driver perceives as tactile feedback.” While the last bit is a trifle weird – just how exactly does it provide tactile feedback if you’re not touching it? And what’s the difference between tactile feedback and the perception of tactile feedback? – it looks like we’re finally a step closer to the hand-wavy Minority Report screens that Tom Cruise promised us years ago.
Known in BMW speak as ‘HoloActive Touch’, the system will allow drivers to wiggle their fingers in front of a touchscreen, rather than lean forwards in their seat and smudge up a perfectly good screen. The touchscreen will still work (it is a touchscreen, after all) but it’ll be far less entertaining to interact with when compared to a hologram that’s floating above the centre console.
So, is this the kind of tech you want in your next car? Or, much like a few curmudgeons in the TG office, are you asking: what was wrong with a button?