London, July 23: Engineers have come up with a new gadget to control a car’s functions using nods and winks, thanks to the infra-red sensor mounted on the dash board that recognises the driver’s facial expression.
A computer concealed inside the car translates the gestures which corresponds to a list of commands for the radio, Sat Nav, heating and mobile phone. The gestures, undergoing tests before they are finalised, include a wink to turn the radio and music player on and off.
The technology is meant to be able to differentiate between an accidental blink and a wink by the length of time of the action before turning the radio on or off. Drivers can nod left to turn the volume up and right to turn it down while a tap on the steering wheel to skip the station or song, the Daily Mail reported.
Motorists can even make a phone call by making the ‘lifting the receiver gesture’ with their hand and dial by saying the name of the person they wish to call.
They can even control the air conditioning and heating by raising and lowering their left hand above the gear stick which has another computer sensor mounted inside.
The technology means drivers would be able to control the functions inside the car without being distracted from the road. Engineers from global infotainment specialists Harman have created a prototype car which could hit the roads in two years’ time.
Hans Roth, director of technology at Harman, said: “It’s all about reducing distractions in the car. These basic gestures are being tested around the globe to find the ideal system that can be used in countries around the world.”
For instance, wink: To turn the radio on and off. Nod left – turn the volume up. Nod right – turn the volume down. Tap finger on steering wheel – Skip radio channel or song. Left hand up (above gear stick) – Turn the heating on. Left hand down (above gear stick) – Turn the air-conditioning on.