By Dr. Andrew Hsu
For any seasoned CES veteran at the show this year, one thing you probably noticed was the immense presence of automakers. Even walking into the main hall, banners from the likes of Audi and Mercedes hung in place where you might have seen Qualcomm and Intel’s flags fly in the past.
Of all of the things these automakers unveiled at CES, one thing in particular caught our eye: touch and gesture input controls for center consoles.
With that in mind, it came as no surprise that the most popular demo at the Synaptics booth was our automotive product, code-named “Torchio,” which showcased the possibility of gestural-based interaction in an automotive environment.
Torchio leverages our ForcePad™ technology to provide a fluid input method. Thanks to ForcePad’s haptic feedback, drivers have the ability to control the center console with the touch of a hand while their eyes never leave the road. It’s simple stuff, really, because the last thing drivers need on the road is a complex method of changing the AC or radio.
You can – and should – watch a demo of Torchio in action here to see how easy it is.
Another hit at the Synaptics booth was an eye-tracking automotive heads-up display (HUD) prototype we’ve been working on with Tobii.
Imagine having your windshield display pertinent information wherever you look, combined with a proximity-sensing TouchPad to keep your eyes on the road. The possibilities are endless with this type of technology, and there will be much more to hear about this soon enough.
At Synaptics, we are excited to see auto OEMs integrating with the tech world. It’s also validating to see Audi and BMW, among others, display their own technologies similar to Torchio. This is the start of something big in the automotive industry.
2015 should be a wild ride.
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