The supplier already has many uses in mind.

Gesture controls like those coming soon to the Volkswagen Golf appear to be the next stage in infotainment system development, and Continental is ready to take the tech in much more logical direction. Rather than waving your hand in front of the dashboard like a crazy person, the German supplier’s new concept lets you make small movements with your fingers without completely letting go of the steering wheel.

The controls seem quite intuitive. Swiping a thumb up and down scrolls through the infotainment options, a horizontal motion dives into submenus, and a tap in the air confirms a selection. If a call comes in, the driver can wave with one hand to accept or the other hand to reject. Continental’s concept also lets users select navigation routes.

The supplier's solution uses a time-of-flight sensor that it integrates into the instrument cluster, a camera, and two transparent plastic panels, which look similar to shift paddles. When the driver makes a motion in front of these parts, the system converts the 3D motion into an input for the infotainment system.

Assuming the system works as promised, the supplier’s tech maintains infotainment system function without distracting drivers as much. Continental claims that it could simplify cabin designs, too, because gesture-based controls could eliminate the need for buttons on the steering wheel. Unfortunately, the supplier doesn’t yet indicate how close this clever solution is to seeing production, but you might be flicking a thumb to control the radio someday in the future.

Source: Continental

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