As people across the world get accustomed to contactless processes for most of the things in their day-to-day lives due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, DS Automobiles has introduced a way of using controls in cars without having to touch them and is also more accurate. The company is working with Ultraleap – a human-machine interface technologies firm – to bring contact-free controls to the future DS models. The system will use mid-air haptic and hand tracking technologies to enable touch-free usage and eventually spelling the end for touchscreens and what is left of buttons.
In an industry-first debuted on the DS Aero Sport Lounge concept, DS has developed a contact-free user experience interface, with gesture control powered by Ultraleap’s hand tracking and mid-air haptic feedback technologies.
Research has found that the use of gesture control and haptics in an automotive setting, results in three-times greater accuracy when compared with a touchscreen.
Drivers and passengers can control infotainment and navigation by making simple hand gestures in mid-air. As they do so, haptic feedback is projected onto their hand to confirm that commands have been recognised and understood.
The technology has been conceived in line with DS Automobiles’ vision to reduce visual pollution in the cockpit promoting cabin wellbeing and improving safety.
Ultraleap’s tracking technology generates a virtual model of the hand’s movements, modelling not just the finger or palm but the bones and joints too, which enables the system to predict the position of a finger even if it’s obscured from view.
Once the gesture command has been registered, the system provides the haptic feedback response to confirm that commands have been recognised and understood.
Using an array of ultrasonic speakers – which operate just like normal speakers but at a high enough frequency so as not to be audible – soundwaves are choreographed to create a single, localised point of high pressure in front of the screen or surface. The slight vibrations resulting from the waves can be detected by the skin’s receptors, simulating the sensation of ‘touch’.