DS trials haptic, touchless feedback for HMI applications

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DS Automobiles is working with Ultraleap, a global leader in human-machine interface technologies, to bring mid-air haptic and hand-tracking technology to future DS models.

The car maker has developed a contact-free user experience interface, with gesture control powered by Ultraleap’s advanced hand tracking and mid-air haptic feedback technologies, which is debuting on its DS Aero Sport Lounge concept. According to DS, research has found that the use of gesture control and haptics in an automotive setting results in three-times greater accuracy compared with a touchscreen.

In the concept, drivers and passengers can control infotainment and navigation by making hand gestures in mid-air. Ultraleap explains that its skeletal tracking technology generates a virtual model of the hand’s movements, modeling 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 recognized and understood.

Using an array of ultrasonic speakers, soundwaves are choreographed to create a single, localized 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’. These waves can be manipulated to create a series of different impulses, enabling the user to perceive different responses, such as a simple click, a dial or a ripple, which can be used to sculpt different user experiences.

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, web editor

Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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