At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, BMW will unveil its HoloActive Touch system, an innovative interface between the driver and vehicle that acts like a virtual touchscreen. The free-floating display is operated using finger gestures and confirms the commands with what the driver perceives as tactile feedback.
BMW HoloActive Touch, part of the BMW i Inside Future study, brings together the advantages of the BMW Head-Up Display, BMW gesture control and direct touchscreen operation, and adds extra features to create a unique form of user interface. For the first time, the functions can be controlled without any physical contact with materials, but the technology still enables the visible and tangible driver-vehicle interaction familiar from conventional touchscreens.
Similarly to the Head-Up Display, the image of a full-colour display is generated by clever use of reflections - but now in free-floating form within the interior rather than through projection onto the windscreen. It displays flexibly configurable control pads and is visible to the driver next to the steering wheel at the height of the centre console. A camera detects the driver's hand movements within this ergonomically user-friendly area, and registers the position of their fingertips, in particular. As soon as a fingertip makes contact with one of these virtual control surfaces, a pulse is emitted and the relevant function is activated.