BMW has just revealed its plans to showcase a new contactless touchscreen with AirTouch feature for in-car infotainment system on its high-end cars at CES 2016. The new AirTouch feature seems to be inspired by the popularity of its new gesture control technology that was unveiled at the previous Consumer Electronics Show.
As its name implies, the AirTouch feature allows the user to control features like volume and various other screen selections for the in-car infotainment system with gestures and a contactless touchscreen. For instance, the user can flip through a music selection or choose various destinations on the map without making any contact with the screen's surface unlike the traditional touchscreens.
Here is what BMW said in its recent press release about the new touchscreen technology:
AirTouch allows the display in a vehicle to be operated like a touchscreen without actually having to make contact with the surface. Sensors record the hand movements in the area between the central console and the interior mirror. 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.
Additionally, the AirTouch menu can be controlled with a concealed button located on the rim of the steering wheel. This button lights up when a menu or icon is activated. A similar button is located on the passenger door area, which allows activating an AirTouch menu or confirming the action after selecting an option.
The intelligent AirTouch menu is aimed at offering shortcuts to frequently used features such as pulling contacts or call-lists to the top level, so that you can perform any action with the flip of a button or a simple gesture. Consequently, the driver can focus completely on the road with both hands free for driving, instead of being interrupted by incoming messages and calls.