Gesture recognition gets a thumbs up

Image: 12361_17035_ACT.jpg

Melexis is using infrared time-of-flight cameras to monitor driver gestures for HMI systems.

“With the wave of a hand” may move from magicians’ banter to car salesman’s description within a few years. Many automakers and suppliers are racing to devise gesture recognition that lets drivers manage complex functions without being distracted.

Hyundai previewed some of its concepts for gesture control of an audio system, letting drivers adjust volume with a hand gesture early this year. Toyota and Microsoft are working together on similar technologies. Volvo’s Concept You uses an infrared (IR) camera to watch the driver’s eyes, turning on displays when the driver looks at them.

Component makers are developing various technologies that can make these concepts a reality. STMicroelectronics and Melexis are both promoting time-of-flight cameras. These IR cameras work a bit like radar, detecting changes in motion rather than creating images.

“Time-of-flight cameras use IR LEDs that are modulated, putting a time stamp on each pulse,” said Vincent Hiligsmann, Marketing Manager for Sensors at Melexis. “By measuring the time it takes for light to reach an object and reflect back, they triangulate distance to very tight resolutions. It works like a motion capture system to detect how a person is moving.”

While these research programs address large movements, other technologies are already starting to see use in touch-sensitive controls. A number of touch screens now have proximity sensing, which lets displays wake from sleep modes when the sensor detects the presence of a hand or finger. The Cadillac User Experience (CUE) system and the 2014 Corvette’s touch screen boasts gesture recognition.

Component suppliers are increasing the range of these proximity sensors so drivers don’t have to reach as far, which can be helpful with some center stack displays. Cypress Semiconductor’s CapSense touch screen sensor can detect fingers when they are nearly a foot away. That makes it feasible to let drivers move their hands up or down to scroll to the next page, among other actions.


Share
HTML for Linking to Page
Page URL
Grade
Rate It
4.46 Avg. Rating

Read More Articles On

2014-01-14
Volvo’s new SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) will make a major contribution to the company’s aim that by 2020, no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo.
2014-01-12
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Harman demonstrated how Google Glass can be integrated with the electronics supplier's advanced driver assistance systems engine. The demo represents a continuation of Harman's efforts to implement its ADAS engine on various devices. 
2014-03-10
LifeBelt is a webbing strap placed in the seat base, just below the seating surface, which is continuous with the standard seat belt and is loaded when the seat belt loads. Its effect is to form a loop around the upper leg area which encloses the pelvis and prevents submarining.
2014-03-04
TRW Automotive's steering-wheel concept being shown at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show supports semi and fully automated driving via several multifunctional features including hands on/off detection. The steering wheel is featured in Rinspeed's steer-by-wire XchangE electric vehicle concept.

Related Items

Article
2014-03-10