Wave a hand, turn on radio or make call; New technology to let gestures control functions of car

Gesture control becomes the latest in-vehicle safety technology.


Not only hand and foot movements are being detected, but a head nod could be used to operate controls in future cars, Griselain says. With the dip of a noggin, map information or fuel-use data could be passed back and forth between the screen on the car's center console to the display screens around the speedometer.

With that kind of potential for gesture control, the ideas are flowing: a seat massage unit that could be activated by a gesture; a virtual emergency brake for parents who sit nervously in the front passenger seat, teaching their teens to drive; turning or advancing a DVD playing on the infotainment system in the back seat.

The potential for gesture technology in cars is important, says Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, chief technology officer for Panasonic, a big maker of automotive display screens. "We have got a lot of people behind it."

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