BMW's HoloActive Touch technology shown at CES is like something out of a science fiction movie.
With CES 2017 now underway at Las Vegas, automakers are using the show to give us a glimpse into the future of car tech. Unsurprisingly, autonomous car technology is a running theme. BMW has revealed a unique concept showing how the interiors in its cars will evolve and adapt to the technology. Dubbed the BMW I Inside Future Concept, a striking sculpture was shown at CES devoid of doors, windows and a roof to focus your attention on BMW's innovative HoloActive Touch technology.
HoloActive Touch represents the future of the automaker's in-car control and display technology, which dominates the width of the dashboard in the Inside Future Concept. Essentially, the technology will replace BMW's long-running iDrive system, fusing the advantages of the BMW Head-Up Display with gesture control and an intuitive touchscreen. This isn't your standard touchscreen, however. As the name suggests, BMW has incorporated revolutionary technology to create a free-floating virtual display that is projected above the center console and operated by finger movements. In other words, you don't have to physically touch the interface to interact with it.
It works using a camera to track your finger movement in conjunction with an an ultrasound source which provides tactile feedback, so you still feel like you're operating a traditional touchscreen. Cleverly, the menu will adapt to different driving modes: Autonomous mode, for example, restructures the navigation to make in-car entertainment functions more easily accessible. Likewise, Passenger mode caters for passenger's needs by automatically dimming the lighting and closing the sunblinds when a video is played. In addition, the automaker revealed the BMW Connected Window, a large screen that looks like a window that allows users to organize their daily plans.
Using road and traffic information sourced from BMW's Open Mobility Cloud, passengers' appointments and travel plans can be perfectly calculated. Like the HoloActive Touch, it works using gesture control. This all links to BMW Connected which acts as a personal online profile that integrates with home infotainment, smartphones and the car itself, as well as sharing contacts and plans with other BMW Connected users.