Visteon taps 3-D gesture recognition for automotive HMI

May 15, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Futuristic cockpit concepts are the distinguishing mark of automotive supplier Visteon. In the past the company already stood out with eye-catching designs like its e-Bee design where fully configurable TFT displays replaced traditional pointer instruments or with a concept that leaned on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to learn the driver's habits. Now it is 3-D gesture recognition that replaces conventional controls in the centre stack.

The new Horizon cockpit concept, which Visteon has been demonstrating to global vehicle manufacturers, blends three emerging technologies to transform the way a driver controls features such as interior temperature, audio and navigation.

Gesture control: A camera system maps the user's hand to replicate a virtual hand on the centre stack. Drivers then can operate certain vehicle controls simply by moving their hand or just a finger without making contact with the instrument cluster. For example, radio volume can be adjusted by making a turning motion with one’s hand.

Virtual touch screen: By integrating a pressure-sensitive touch pad, drivers can operate centre stack controls without having to physically reach for them. The touch pad recognizes the amount of pressure applied for improved responses. The touch pad can be implemented with any soft material, such as leather or cloth, allowing flexibility for its location.

Dual-layered display: High-resolution graphics present information on two separate planes, bringing only those controls with which the driver is interacting to the forefront. The driver can virtually “push” through the graphics on the first pane to access the second.

“The Horizon cockpit concept shows possibilities for combining real-time rendered 3-D graphics with advanced display technologies,” said Shadi Mere, innovation manager at Visteon. “By weaving together multiple emerging HMI input technologies, we’re able to deliver a distinctive cockpit system that delivers an intuitive and enjoyable driving experience.”

Prior to unveiling the Horizon cockpit for its customers, Visteon presented the concept to consumers during a research clinic. Seventy percent of participating consumers showed a strong interest in a virtual volume knob in their next vehicle, stating that it was easier and more convenient than searching for a traditional volume knob, the company claims.

A video of the Horizon cockpit concept is available on www.youtube.com/visteon

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