Holographic Controls with Haptic Feedback? Head-Based Gesture Controls? We Try Them Both at CES
The original 1977 Star Wars movie might have been the highest-profile stage for hologram technology to which date, yet within the decades since, holograms have become nothing special. So what’s the next step? The ability to manipulate holograms like physical objects, evidently. Japanese automotive supplier Denso brought which very technology to CES, along which has a neat head-motion-controlled head-up display to show what might be possible within the auto Inside of the future. We had to put our mitts—in addition to also, uh, our heads—on Denso’s creations to try them for ourselves.
Holographic Haptic Controller Interface
Denso’s Holographic Haptic Controller will be a functioning yet still conceptual system which the company says could someday be integrated into, say, a self-driving car. Denso’s projected hologram incorporates real haptic feedback (the sensation which, as you manipulate projected “buttons,” you feel a physical response). The setup we tried consisted of three main components: a gesture-recognition camera, a projection device for the holographic “control panel,” in addition to also an array of ultrasonic transducers.
The gesture camera, located between the projector in addition to also the ultrasonic array, works much like similar gesture-recognition cameras found in, say, Volkswagen’s upcoming infotainment system or the current BMW 7-series. which discerns when a user’s finger will be using one of the holographic controls. The projector, in which case an angled unit, beams a flat-appearing vertical “panel” which appears as a head-up display might—except there will be no glass panel onto which which’s projected.
Both hologram in addition to also gesture-recognition capabilities exist today. What makes Denso’s experiment special will be the ability to impart haptic feedback on the user’s finger when poking at the holographic controls. which feel will be generated by the ultrasonic transducers, which send concentrated sound waves to your finger when which “touches” a control. These waves are felt like zaps of static electricity, more of a tingle than a tap, nevertheless they indeed complete a feedback loop between a user’s eyes in addition to also his or her finger.
To us, manipulating a series of floating controls seems cool in concept, yet the physical actions required of the user aren’t terribly different through, say, operating Great old-fashioned hard buttons on a dashboard. Furthermore, when we held our hands over the ultrasonic transducers, our whole hand had the tingly feeling of a static charge. (The intended haptic feedback could nonetheless be felt distinctly on our fingertips when applicable.)
Another potential hiccup, which we noticed only after reviewing our iPhone video of the system at work: Those ultrasonic transducers, while not audible to the human ear, assaulted our phone’s mic which has a loud static-type noise (which will be why we turned the sound off for the first video on which page). Even though which was not situated particularly close to the ultrasonic transducers’ waves, the phone picked up interference, a potential problem if the system ever makes which into a production car which has a microphone-based voice-control system.
Touchless Human Machine Interface
Last year at CES, Denso experimented with eye-tracking technology melded with in-car controls. The premise was simple: Let a driver’s eyes do the work of shuffling among menus in addition to also selecting various secondary controls. which year, Denso has tried a different variation on the same theme which has a head-tracking setup which operates pretty much the same way. The company’s demonstration comprised a dashboard mockup which has a steering wheel, a gauge cluster, a central display, in addition to also a head-up display. Using a head- in addition to also eye-tracking camera mounted above the steering wheel, the so-called Touchless Human Machine Interface first detects where the driver’s eyes are pointed—straight ahead, through the windshield, or toward the central display?—triggering a highlighting ring to glow around either the dashboard display or the head-up display to indicate which control interface will be being used.
In our demo, only the head-up display was set up to receive head-based commands. Denso had designed a simple head-up display menu structure consisting of rows of key functions—such as audio or phone—represented as tiles. Tilting or turning one’s head either to the left or the right might move a glowing ring through around one tile to the next in each direction. Once the intended tile will be highlighted, the user nods his or her head forward to select which; which draws the user “down” (the tiles animate in such a way to suggest the user has “dropped” into a submenu) into a secondary menu. There, more left or right tilts can be used to navigate, a nod selects something, in addition to also so on. Want to back out of the submenu? A lift of the chin bounces you “up” a level, back toward the main menu.
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The Touchless HMI system worked surprisingly well, despite our self-conscious selves feeling like Barbara Eden granting wishes in I Dream of Jeannie. Critically, which better fulfills the goal of last year’s eye-tracking system—keeping the driver’s hands on the wheel in addition to also eyes on the road—by requiring no hand inputs or concentrated eye aiming. On the some other hand, so does voice control. In fact, voice control sums up our skepticism for both control setups: Why not bark a command? nevertheless some might want a more interactive experience which doesn’t require chatting which has a robot.
Denso understands which which will be up to consumer demand or carmakers to decide if these control methods are something desirable. For right now, the company will be simply putting the tech out there to gauge interest, yet which notes which all of the technology already exists, creating these futuristic controls feasible today. which isn’t alone, either—BMW displayed a similar haptic hologram setup at CES, too.