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Gesture Control for Automotive Peripherals

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the talk-to-the-hand dept.

Hardware 221

j-rock nowhere writes "An article in Automotive Design and productions' Field Guide to Automotive Technology describes a possible future method of controlling things like your cell phone and stereo while keeping your eyes on the road."

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221 comments

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this looks interesting (-1, Offtopic)

stevenp (610846) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358190)

this looks interesting -- Maybe FP? Noooooooo

Splishy Splashy Are The Toddlers! (-1)

I VOMIT ON TODDLERS! (642865) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358192)

Who cares about Gesture Control for Automotive Peripherals when you could spend all your time covering those happy youngsters in heave after heave of chunky tummy goodness! Find some toddlers to vomit on today! It'll make you and them very happy!

jedi (4, Funny)

frieked (187664) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358193)

Soon, drivers will be able to command vehicle functions with the wave of a hand.

Does this work on storm troopers too?

Re:jedi (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6358462)

Error Message from device.

"This is not the function you are looking for..."

Re:jedi (4, Funny)

Greedo (304385) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358618)

You: (waves hand in front of dashboard) This is not the radio station I was looking for.

Honda: This is not the station you were looking for.

Does anyone else see this as not a good idea? (4, Funny)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358196)

Driver makes gestures
Car swerves down into a ditch
Hands not on the wheel

Re:Does anyone else see this as not a good idea? (3, Funny)

SlashdotLemming (640272) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358221)

Pity those people who talk with their hands.

Pressing a button or turning a knob cannot be misinterpreted, waving a hand can

Re:Does anyone else see this as not a good idea? (5, Funny)

carlos_benj (140796) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358551)

This won't be implemented in Italian cars.....

Re:Does anyone else see this as not a good idea? (1)

kevinT (14723) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358251)

Have you ever watched some of these people on their cell phones?

They would be turning everything on and off, radio to full blast, then to nothing!

It would be funny to watch if I wasn't worried about them losing control and killing me!

Re:Does anyone else see this as not a good idea? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6358403)

Formatted comment
Superior haiku post
Am I first to note?

Re:Does anyone else see this as not a good idea? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6358623)

It's a joke. The whole reason you're more dangerous is because of CONCENTRATION.

The fact you're talking on the phone (regardless of whether you're using a hands-free set or not) means that some aspect of your cognitive functions are not on the road. Pure and simple.

People waving their hands around in an attempt to spell something will be a menace. I can imagine what'll happen as soon as something's mis-spelt. People'll soon switch their eyes across to whatever readout it has to try and delete something.

We should be enforcing laws stopping people driving dangerously and without due care and attention, not making up expensive technology that will provide yet another distraction for idiots.

erm... (1)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358206)

looking where you're going is one thing, steering in that direction would be nice too :)

I dunno... (4, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358209)

Sounds like a recipe for a new rash of Road Rage incidents.

"Hey, a$$hole - you gonna flip me off like that, I'll show you!" (swerves and cuts off guy who's just trying to check his voicemail)

Re:I dunno... (4, Informative)

frieked (187664) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358235)

RTFA
the system has a camera positioned in the center console area pointed up at the roof so that the space in which the driver makes command gestures is essentially the same as where a gearshift lever might be. The thinking is to keep the operation of the system as familiar and natural as possible so that the driver won't be distracted from watching the road. (Another benefit is that since the gestures are made at a low level in the center of the vehicle other drivers are not likely to see them and interpret them as digital expletives.)

Re:I dunno... (2, Funny)

iworm (132527) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358309)

digital expletives

[snort] Excellent!! "..and I mono-digitally expressed an expletive at the other driver..."

Re:I dunno... (1)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358362)

Er... and if there actually IS a gear shift lever there? And if there isn't one, the driver probably doesn't drive stck, so performing any action in that space is neither "familiar" nor "natural".

Bad design. How about making an autopilot that takes over when the driver is being an idiot?

Re:I dunno... (2, Insightful)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358593)

One can either photograph a hand pushing virtual buttons where a gearshift lever would be, or actually put buttons there to be pushed. Including if there is a gearshift lever already there -- put buttons on the lever.

Re:I dunno... (2, Funny)

addikt10 (461932) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358549)

I want it to honk my horn and start driving aggressively if I flip someone off, not check my voicemail.

My Science Project anyone? (1, Funny)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358211)

I'll give it a hand gesture all right...

Watch for the neon middle finger to pop up from my truck.

Re:My Science Project anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6358239)

"When you're cool, the sun shines on you 24 hours a day."

That movie...

Re:My Science Project anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6358289)

Hey, I remember that! I want one of those! Anyone know if they're available?

Re:My Science Project anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6358343)

IMDB link for My Scienece Project [imdb.com]

I wonder... (1)

WinDoze (52234) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358212)

What does the car do when you give the finger to the a$$hole that just cut you off?

Voice is better (2, Insightful)

3.5 stripes (578410) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358213)

hands free ya know....

Re:Voice is better (2, Insightful)

3.5 stripes (578410) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358285)

Really though, voice recognotion is good enough to differntiate between different owners, my cell phone now will make calls if I tell it to.

Why even bother with hands, they should really stay on the wheel.

Re:Voice is better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6358305)

The creator addressed that issue in the article if you had bothered to read it.

Re:Voice is better (1)

3.5 stripes (578410) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358344)

He glosses over it, you mean.

Noise interference for sound, light interference for cameras.

I think a combo as he suggests might be better, but honestly, I'm less likely to say something that could be interpreted as a command, than I am moving my hand in a way that could be interpreted as one.

Imagine the gesture if... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358215)

The car tries to go straight up!!
Middle of the road...

My first thought when I read this... (2, Funny)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358220)

...was that my car would automatically beep the horn and flash headlights when I give a fellow motorist the finger.

Does that make me a bad person?

Keyboard? (1)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358225)

Why cant you build a keyboard with something like this. It would be more intuitive and easier on your wrists.

Re:Keyboard? (1)

WC as Kato (675505) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358441)

Because it would be the size of your car!

Re:Keyboard? (2, Interesting)

RandomWhiteMan (685768) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358485)

They've been coming out with a couple interfaces that use gestures lately. Don't know how good they are though. Touchstream Keyboard [thinkgeek.com]

Geez.... (0, Redundant)

psychophil.com (2573) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358227)

I already make enough gestures while driving.

Queue thousands of "middle finger" gesture jokes.. (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358229)

People look silly enough talking on hands free phones while in the car. If they are waving their arms about at the same time they are going to look positively psychotic.

Good one Zaphod (1)

Genady (27988) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358231)

What's next your current squeeze throwing a pencil through the area of effect, throwing off the station while you try to listen to the news of your theft of the new wonder car? Sheesh!

Amusing effect on fingerspellers (2, Interesting)

Lonesome Squash (676652) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358240)

I have a habit of absent-mindedly fingerspelling when I'm thinking about something else. I suspect this would cure me.

It might be a problem for those who use sign language to speak to their passengers, but then, maybe signing while driving isn't such a great idea.

Re:Amusing effect on fingerspellers (1)

brakk (93385) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358539)

That brings up the questions:

Do they make teletype machines for cell phones?

And if so, Can you get a cigarette power adaptor for them?

Re:Amusing effect on fingerspellers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6358579)

I actually saw 3 hearing impaired (2 deaf, 1 mostly) people I know having a sign language discussion (a rather involved one at that, at least by appearances) while driving down a highway. Scariest thing I ever saw, I had to take up a position a few cars behind them and stay there where I could keep an eye one them.

Perfect for me (1, Funny)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358242)

I'm used to using my hand.

Gesture this (1)

metallikop (649953) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358243)

"we have an extremely robust system that can pick up gestures anywhere in the car"

I'm fairly confident that I have hand gesturing in the car well covered, usually accompanied by some symbols such as @ and $. @^#!%%$ off!

Prevent RSI? (3, Funny)

arpy (587497) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358244)

Can't wait for this to be implemented for PCs. Maybe one day I can merely give the finger to my Windows computer at work instead of giving it the three-fingered salute. Certainly help prevent RSI.

Huh. My car is ahead of its time. (5, Funny)

foxtrot (14140) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358248)

I already have this.

If I place my hand on the device in front of me,
and I move my hand to the left, the car goes to the left. If I move my hand to the right, my car goes to the right.

There's a set of gestures I can make with my other hand to select something called a "gear". And the motion recognition even watches my feet, too!

-JDF

Keep your eyes on the road... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6358255)

...and your hands upon the wheel.

A simpler way with little innovation required (4, Interesting)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358256)

How about a few buttons on the steering wheel that correspond to standardized jacks used to interface things like your celluar phone and stereo? The stereo part is already done (in most Acura's for example), now just add celluar compatibility and provide one of those systems that turns you car into a speaker phone and your done.

Re:A simpler way with little innovation required (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358439)

Standardized jacks in the steering wheel. Good idea. That way, when you turn, the cables can get all tangled up, and you have to pull over to untangle the mess and make that call.

Re:A simpler way with little innovation required (1)

mothrathegreat (542532) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358482)

I rather hope they'll have had a bluetooth solution for this soon

It's not the problem (5, Insightful)

paranode (671698) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358259)

Politicians and inventors seem to think that the cause of cell-phone related accidents has something to do with their hands being too occupied. I think it's quite obvious that the real problem is that people can't focus on two things at once. I don't think any of these new laws or hands-free technology will improve anything because little Susy driving around in her new BMW SUV that her daddy gave her isn't going to be saved when she's talking to Jennifer about how her boyfriend Chad just dumped her and she changes lanes into MY CAR!

Re:It's not the problem (5, Insightful)

brakk (93385) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358421)

I agree, I drive 90% of the time with one hand whether I'm on the cell phone or not. It's after I get off a call and I don't remember the last couple miles that I wonder how I was doing it. I know my subconscious had taken over and was driving for me, but what would have happened if I needed to respond quickly or little Susy merging into my fender. It's not the lack of hands that would be the problem; it's the lack of concentration on the road.

(Although, I've noticed that when someone is in the car with me and I'm talking to them, I don't have any problem paying attention to the road. I haven't quite figured that out yet.)

Re:It's not the problem (2, Insightful)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358478)

"Although, I've noticed that when someone is in the car with me and I'm talking to them, I don't have any problem paying attention to the road. I haven't quite figured that out yet."

Pretty simple. The passenger talking to you is part of your immediate environment. They occupy more of your sensory abilities that a cel caller. You only hear a cell call, and somewhat artificially at that. A real live person can be seen, heard, smelled, etc. Much more "real" that your phone call. Or radio for that matter, considering the limited volume, placement and quality of sound.

Re:It's not the problem (2, Insightful)

tiled_rainbows (686195) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358564)

"..when someone is in the car with me and I'm talking to them, I don't have any problem paying attention to the road. I haven't quite figured that out yet." Also, when someone is in the car with you, they know when to shut up. As the passenger, you're not going to say anything requiring an in-depth response whilst the driver is attempting a complex manouver.

Re:It's not the problem (1)

FunkyChild (99051) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358587)

And passengers are also able to notify the driver of things. If you're talking to a passenger and start to drift off the road into the other lane, the passenger will probably say "shit, look out!" while someone on the phone will be completely oblivious to what's going on.

Re:It's not the problem (1)

spencerogden (49254) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358526)

Maybe it takes more concentration to listen to a voice coming out of a speaker. When the person is sitting right there, you can get some of their hand expressions and a there voice inflections are clearer.

Also, maybe when you are talking in the car it is just idle chatter, whereas on the phone there is usually a reason for the call.

Re:It's not the problem (1)

Liselle (684663) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358490)

If you're holding on to a phone, either with your hand on cramming it between your shoulder and your head, wouldn't that count as a THIRD thing to focus on?

However, I agree that all the technology in the world will not save people from their own stupidity.

Totally disagree (1)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358559)

By your logic, we should eliminate radios, remove all passenger seats from vehicles (making it so only one person can be in a privately-owned vehicle at a time), etc.

After all since drivers can't do two things at once, listening to the radio would be out, talking to passengers would be out, fiddling around with car seats, etc. would be out...

No, you're right. We should make so the driver has NO DISTRACTIONS. I'm starting my campaign to remove passenger seats and radios from cars today!

Re:Totally disagree (1)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358604)

As a pedestrian you have my full support, where can I make a donation to your campaign?

keeping eyes on the road ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6358260)

a possible future method of controlling things like your cell phone and stereo while keeping your eyes on the road.

Or more importantly, the movie playing on your nice in-dash LCD DVC player.
Or for women, it allows them to more easily apply eye make up in the rear-view mirror.

Finally... (1)

skurken (58262) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358262)

I can kill an annoying tune on the radio by flipping it the bird.

Gesture-Based Interfaces (5, Interesting)

mcc (14761) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358270)

A loud clatter of gunk music flooded through the Heart of Gold cabin as Zaphod searched the sub-etha radio wave bands for news of himself. The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive-- you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same program."

-- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

My God, it's finally happened.

Re:Gesture-Based Interfaces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6358475)

a) damn you, you beat me to it
b) DNA must be twirling in his grave.

Re:Gesture-Based Interfaces (1)

f0rtytw0 (446153) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358484)

nuts someone beat me to it. This was the first thing I thought of when I saw this article.

Where's my electric thumb? (1)

doublem (118724) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358563)

Time to leave the planet.

Any moment now a space ship will crash and announce "Take us to your lizzard."

At least Vogon poetry will be better than most pop crap.

As I said before:

My question is, if the whole planet now sounds like Ford Prefect is somewhere in the area, where's my electric thumb and my copy of that book with the "Don't Panic" cover? [slashdot.org]

Re:Gesture-Based Interfaces (1)

MyHair (589485) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358583)

So Sad he couldn't live a little longer to see it. Are Douglas Adams and Scott Adams the new Da Vinci's?

RIP DA.

Make your choice... (2, Funny)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358274)

..since facial recognition requires a camera and similar software, automakers could sell a security feature that would authorize vehicle operation based on facial features. Once the camera is in the car for that purpose, gesture interface becomes an inexpensive addition.
but..
Another benefit is that since the gestures are made at a low level in the center of the vehicle other drivers are not likely to see them and interpret them as digital expletives.
So either other drivers will see your waving your hands thinking you're flipping them the bird, or your head bobbing up and down near the centre console as you try and get it to recognise your face...what a predicament.

Gesture Control (1)

Entropy248 (588290) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358282)

Yeah... This is exactly what I need. I want to let go of the wheel and wave my arms around like a moron in order to change radio stations. More importantly, I want flipping people off to dial my ex-girlfriends. Better yet, I want signalling a left turn (right turn for ppl driving on the WRONG side of the road) to change the channel on my DVD player. They could combine this technology with the motion-activated PDAs to make caucophonious symphony of beeps and widgets powering up whenever I light a cigarette while driving. Seriously, who the fuck needs another distraction or reason to let go of the wheel while driving! I can't even imagine what would happen if I was getting some on my ride into work... Not that I could now, but...

Not exactly a good idea (2, Insightful)

Tha_Big_Guy23 (603419) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358303)

Going back to the days when in Driver's Education, they teach that while driving you should keep your hands on the wheel at the 10 and 2 o'clock positions. While you may move your hands about the vehicle to perform certain tasks as changing the radio station etc. using hand gestures to control things within the car gives us the same problem that we have now. This problem is that people are using the hands that they should be driving with to do various other things within their vehicles. A voice command system would be much more valuable within a car as it would preclude the need to remove your hands from the steering wheel. Their argument in the article about voice recognition has holes in it. They say that cars are too noisy. If you've taken a ride in one of the newer cars with the windows up, and the radio off, it's rather quiet inside the car. Perhaps I just don't understand, but I still think that this would just be asking for trouble.

Re:Not exactly a good idea (1)

TheViffer (128272) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358369)

This problem is that people are using the hands that they should be driving with to do various other things within their vehicles. A voice command system would be much more valuable within a car as it would preclude the need to remove your hands from the steering wheel.

Until you tune into some talk radio station :-)

Re:Not exactly a good idea (2, Funny)

GojiraDeMonstah (588432) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358400)

George Carlin recommended keeping your hands at 9:45 and 2:15. That way you have an extra half hour to get where you're going.

Speech recognition? (2, Insightful)

Psyx (619571) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358313)

Hell, there have been car phones that respond to voice since 1986 at least. We used to have a GTE prototype. Gestures sound like a step backwards.

Sweet! (1, Funny)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358319)

Just get a bee into their car and watch the hilarity!

Seriously, most people I see can't even handle driving when they aren't actually trying to do anything else, why are they being encouraged to do anything but drive?

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6358508)

You should see people in Oklahoma try to "drive" in the rain. It would be safer to just shoot yourself, at least you would die quickly.

Ultimate solution (2, Insightful)

TheViffer (128272) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358324)

like your cell phone and stereo while keeping your eyes on the road

How about shut off the cell phone, tune the stereo to one station and pay attention to the road.

Solution: $0
Chance to get into an accident/kill someone: less

What about hands on the wheel? (4, Interesting)

Ashtead (654610) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358325)

.. or the stick-shift every once in a while.

The big problem seems to be that the concentration isn't on traffic even with hands-off versions of mobile phones. True enough, there is not that gross inattentiveness associated with reading or writing text-messages, or other non-telecomms activities like applying makeup or reading the newspaper. Still, the concentration isn't where it ought to be during phone calls, I have experienced this myself, being on "autopilot" whilst talking. Enough to keep the vehicle following the road; but at the end of the conversation I realized I could not remember anything of what I had passed, even obvious things like small towns and intersections.

On the other hand, this idea of being able to quickly get commands across to various in-car systems seems exciting. Being able to turn on a music selection with a flick of the wrist certainly is vastly better than an in-car entertainment system full of pushbuttons. I got one of these here, and I never am able to work it unless the car is stationary.

why not get rid of the wheel completely? (2, Interesting)

tiled_rainbows (686195) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358377)

Why not stick with the physical interfaces for cellphone, stereo, etc, but DRIVE using guesture recognition? How cool would it be to just have to point in the direction you wanted to go? Okay, not that cool, but I still like the idea

Re:What about hands on the wheel? (1)

gregmac (629064) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358514)

The big problem seems to be that the concentration isn't on traffic even with hands-off versions of mobile phones.

Yeah, the problem is trying to get the little rubber seal on the phone open and plug in the headset. I bought a headset, and it's great to use (despite the attention thing, which I totally agree with you on), but a lot of the time if someone calls I don't bother with it, because it's harder to try and get that thing in than it is to drive one-handed for a couple minutes.

Cell Phones on the Road (2, Informative)

leeroybrown (624767) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358338)

Research has shown that the largest affect of a Cell Phone conversation on a driver is in fact the level of concentration required to listen, think and converse with the other party.

Not having a phone held awkwardly while driving is a big help but you still loose a lot of your concentration on the road.

It sounds like an innovative control method but it still won't keep concentration purely on the road.

To deploy airbag... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6358341)

...cover both eyes with your hands. Airbag will deploy shortly. No peeking!

That's great and all, but... (1, Funny)

Blind Linux (593315) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358357)

Someone should devise a system that could apply makeup to womens faces while they were driving.
Imagine the drop in road rage and accidents...
just imagine.
:p

Re:That's great and all, but... (2, Funny)

mothrathegreat (542532) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358530)

I'm picturing Homer's makeup shotgun with an airbag conversion. That ought to keep Worlds wierdest police videos pt 8 busy for a while

Here in lies the problem (2, Insightful)

TnkMkr (666446) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358367)

If driving was simply a function of keeping your eyes on the road, there would be no problem... the thing is you have to PAY ATTENTION when you are driving. I don't remember where I saw the numbers, but I remember recently reading an article that suggested hands free cell phone uses drive as bad and crash as often as those who do not use hands free kits.

Now with the desire to integrate a LCD screens, DVD player, Video Games and a whole host of distractions I loath to think what driving will be like in the future. People need to just drive their car and worry about amusing themselves when they are not hurling down the road at 60 MPH.

What, no HUD? (1)

GojiraDeMonstah (588432) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358374)

We should leap-frog gesture technology and go straight to this [ets-news.com] .

But Seriously. Yes, safety innovations are worthwhile. However, at the risk of sounding like a hystronic dumbass, your car is not a goddamn entertainment center! Work the CD player, yap on the phone, eat a taco, crank up the A/C, turn around and shriek at the kids... I even see advertisements for in-dash TV/VCR/DVD screens.

Maybe the answer is getting cars to drive themselves with GPS or something. That way we won't distract Joe Consumer with the tedious task of driving, leaving him free to settle back with a bucket of KFC and some pr0n on the way to the mall.

No physical touch... (1)

stevenp (610846) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358390)

>> But they're taking things a step further, because the work on gesture interfaces at CMU doesn't include physical touch

The physical touch is important. It is important for the person to receive a physical feedback from the controls so that he can "feel" them moving.

It is not coincidence that many people still prefer the old-style clicking keyboards that give a nice tactile feedback.

btw. How are they going to distinguish between control and spontaneous gestures? Maybe the system will be forbidden in the southern countries where the people naturally move their hands a lot when they speak?

oh please Oh Please OH PLEASE?! (1)

jpellino (202698) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358418)

Can we rig it so that giving someone the finger deploys the airbag?

Please?

voice control (1)

calethix (537786) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358426)

According to the article
"(1) cars are noisy, so that technology needs much more work and (2) many people simply don't like the idea: "I would feel strange if I had to talk to my car," he says."

Personally, I'd rather give my car voice commands instead of hand gestures so I don't know where it comes up with #2. As for #1, I thought most modern cars (excluding cheapo cars like my neon) were pretty good at eliminating road noise. I suppose that would still leave issues with noise in the car such as radios and screaming children.

Heart of Gold (HHGTTG) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6358433)

Didn't Zaphod Beeblebrox have this on the Heart of Gold? If I remember correctly he had to remain absolutely still to prevent random station changes.

What ever happened to voice recognition? (1)

Proudrooster (580120) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358438)

Ever since my 8-bit Commodore 64 with 64k of RAM I've was promised Computer Speech Recognition [scpcug.com] . I was able to train the C-64 speech recognition software to recognize commands like "North, South, East, West, Go up etc... " to play Infocom games like Zork [xyzzy.com] . Now we have cell phones with enough CPU power to process images, play Beethoven's 9th with a 16 string polyphonic orchestra to notify the user of an incoming call, but WE STILL DON'T HAVE BASIC SPEECH RECOGNITION. What's up with that?

So is this the end for speech recognition? Have we given up? I want to speak to my cell phone and have it obey, not gesture to it while I'm trying to drive. Clue to cell phone manufacturers, the cell phone has a microphone, maybe it could be used to something..... hmmmmmm.....

They did this on the Osbournes... (1)

jpellino (202698) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358440)

Ozzy trying to voice control the BMW radio... he resorted to gestures. Didn't work. Of course you have to be able to speak actual words and use more than one gesture to do any of this, so he and his two kids are out...

hand up and scream (1)

Lust (14189) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358442)

so does the airbag deploy when your mouth opens wide and you throw your hands in front of your face in horror?

NOT the problem with cell phones in cars, dammit! (5, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358446)

method of controlling things like your cell phone and stereo while keeping your eyes on the road

First off- my stereo in my car displays the FM frequency info in the gauge cluster, at the top, and I know all the controls by feel; the button groups are shaped with surfaces to let you recognize which button group you're on. This feature was introduced in 1989 by Audi, and continues in every single model they make- so this is solving a problem that doesn't exist, frankly. If one manufacturer can do it, any can- it's just smart design and a little bit of extra electronics.

Regardless, The problem is NOT the "taking your eyes off the road" bit. The problem, time after time, is your mental focus.

Researchers found that when a driver is talking on the cell phone, it's almost like they enter a tunnel of sorts- they loose their situational awareness(ie, "where are the other cars around me?" "what is my speed?" etc.) and sort of blankly stare ahead. You can recognize anyone in this "mode"; they look like some kind of automaton.

Of course, the phone companies say "that's absurd, people in cars talk to the driver". That's right(even right to the extent that many states limit passengers for young drivers, who haven't enough experience)- but when you're talking to the driver (studies have shown that) you stop talking to them if the situation the driver is in gets complicated- ie, a merge, someone starts to cut them off, an exit is coming up, or they're looking for a turn to make- or even if the driver suddenly changes their body language- and even that act of stopping talking to them can give the driver a wakeup call. People on the other end of the phone can't do any of this, of course.

But, have you ever wondered why the cellphone industry is happily embracing the hands-free stuff? They get to sell extra accessories at an absurd profit margin compared to the phone unit itself- and it distracts everyone from the much more "dangerous"(to them) truth- that people can't talk to other people safely unless they're in the car, ie, cell phone calls by drivers should be illegal PERIOD.

Buttons on the back of the Steering Wheel. (1)

brakk (93385) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358457)

I still think the best method for changing radio stations or answering phone calls or other non-critical tasks in the car is buttons on the back of the steering wheel. Some cars already have it. So you don't have to take your hands off the wheel, you just move a finger or two.

Didn't I see this on EFC (1)

jj_johny (626460) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358465)

Hey, they use gestures to fly in Earth: Final Conflict [efc.com] but it looked a little to much like they were always being a bit inexact in their movements. Don't know that I want controls that have no feed back to them.

Government (1)

mothrathegreat (542532) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358466)

I dont want the government to put a camera in my car! They'll record me and send it to the NSA!

Im going back to my cellar now to make more tin-foil hats for my family... :)

Still it does make me wonder.

This will be so annoying. (0)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358468)

Oh yea, the convenience of a wave of the hand. You itch your nose, you hang up on someone. You swat a bug, you auto-dial your mother in law. You start making out with your significant other, and your OTHER significant other plays you a tape of it off their answering machine. Oh yea, can't WAIT for this one to come out!

Integration (1)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358483)

I remember the first time I saw an old man walking down the street talking out loud to nobody and gesticulating like a spontaneous flying angel. It was the 1970's and schizophrenia was a rare condition that was for the most part kept hidden from mainstream society behind institutional walls.

These days, society is a lot more integrated.

Keeping your eyes on the road is not the problem (2, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358505)

Keeping your brain focused and in gear is the real problem with cell phones and other gadgets.

"It's not just the physical distraction of holding the handset -- there's the intellectual distraction [newsfactor.com] of holding the conversation."

"...cell phone conversations using "hands-free" devices are just as likely [msnbc.com] to cause dangerous distractions as those conducted on hand held phones."

"There is a very substantial decrease in the amount of brain activity [go.com] , the amount of neural activity allocated to driving, while you are simultaneously listening,"

Hang up and drive.

What does the car do when... (-1)

fishynet (684916) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358510)

I flick someone off?

You Linux people... (4, Funny)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358533)

...are so far behind the times! My new BMW uses Microsft's new embeded OS to enhance performance of my Beemer's traction control, safety system, and...

HOLY FUCK!

*makes vulcan sign*

*crashes into tree*

Windows

A fatal exception 0E has occured at 0028:C004CDCF in VXD VNTFS(01) +
00000B987. The current application will be terminated.

* Press any key to terminate the current application.

* Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE again to restart you computer. You will lose any unsaved information in all applications.

* Pray that one of the above will work.


Press any key to continue_

Dumb idea (5, Insightful)

theLOUDroom (556455) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358581)

If I'm going to take my hands off the wheel, I want to do something quick and unambiguous, then out them right back where they were. Buttons and switches are simple, reliable, and give tactile feedback. When I flip a switch on my dash, I can feel it move, and heard it click. I know my will has been done and I can go back to driving the vehicle. With a gesture system, there will be a tendency to wait and see if the system has properly recognized your motions before returning your attention to the road This is bad.

Steering-wheel mounted controls are the way to go. Control the radio with you thumbs and maybe dial your phone with buttons in the middle of the wheel.

Controls need to be quick and simple. We don't have any laws saying you need a hands-free kit for your CB in any state that I know of because they aren't that distracting. A single button push or know twist will effect whatever changes you want, and no one hesitates to drop their mic if they need to, since they're desiged to handle it. Contrast this with a typical handheld cellphone: Tiny keys, poor tactile feedback, inefficient controls (volume buttons instead of a knob), tiny displays. Just think about how much time you take your eyes off the road to dial a seven digit number. Plenty of time to get you killed on the wrong day.

Voice dialing (for ANY number: "five-five-five-one-two-one-two"), volume control knobs, and a single button that takes the phone on and off-hook should be mandatory for all cellphones used while driving. NYS already has a law requiring the use of a "hands free" kit, but AFIAK just plugging and earbud into your phone satisfies that requrement.

What about Rage gestures? (1)

MongooseCN (139203) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358585)

When you stick your middle finger up will the car automatically flash it's lights, blare it's horn and swerve violently?

I think we have a serious design flaw here (1)

Sugar Moose (686011) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358600)

I bet getting road head would really confuse the shit out of it.

Back Seat (2, Funny)

My name isn't Tim (684860) | more than 11 years ago | (#6358606)

I hope it doesn't recognize gestures in the back seat....
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