Both Google and Ford are in the process of developing vehicles in which a range of functions will be controlled by hand gestures rather than buttons and knobs, according to a report in the Telegraph.
Patent applications by both companies confirm that they are working on technology which will enable drivers to use a swipe gesture to operate, for example, indicators, air conditioning, windscreen wipers, sunroof and windows.
While Google says that passengers could even use gestures to give directions and instructions to a vehicle’s on board computer, the search engine giant claims that gesture recognition will be of most use in preventing drivers from being distracted by buttons and other controls.
Google’s patent says: “While a user is manoeuvring a vehicle, the user may wish to perform a number of additional functions, such as navigating to a destination, changing the temperature in the vehicle, or changing the volume of music playing in the vehicle.
“The user may perform a gesture in a region of the vehicle. Example regions include a steering wheel, an air-conditioning vent, and an ear of the user.
“The predetermined gestures may include, for example, any gesture that an occupant of the vehicle may make with his or her hands, fingers, arms, legs and head. For instance, the predetermined gestures may include swiping, tapping, pointing, grasping, pinching, or waving gestures.”
Ford has also published a similar patent that describes how vehicle controls can be operated using gesture recognition.
Click here to read the full Telegraph report.