Jaguar Land Rover Previews Touchscreen That Needs No Actual Touch to Work

JLR contactless touchscreen 6 photos
Photo: JLR
JLR contactless touchscreenJLR contactless touchscreenJLR contactless touchscreenJLR contactless touchscreenJLR contactless touchscreen
The current health crisis has forced upon the world habits that should have been with us for ages. Things like washing hands and not touching the face after your hands have been all over the place are now enforced globally, although it seems few of us are paying any attention.
Coincidentaly, the world we live in today is governed by touch. Everything from our smartphones to fancy TV and computer screens can only work if they feel some fingers on them. And for an invisible enemy that allegedly spreads through droplets and surfaces, that’s literal heaven.

But how can you avoid touching screens in a world ruled by them? Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) thinks it has the solution.

Together with a team from the University of Cambridge, JLR previewed a contactless touchscreen this week. That’s right, a touchscreen that needs not be touched for it to work. The company calls this approach predictive touch.

Using an artificial intelligence system, JLR’s screen can predict with accuracy what the driver’s finger is aiming for, and activates that particular function before finger and screen make contact. The AI uses gesture tracking for this, enabled by vision and radio frequency sensors.

“As countries around the world exit lockdown, we notice how many everyday consumer transactions are conducted using touchscreens: railway or cinema tickets, ATMs, airport check-ins and supermarket self-service checkouts, as well as many industrial and manufacturing applications,” said in a statement Lee Skrypchuk, Human Machine Interface Technical Specialist at Jaguar Land Rover.

“Predictive touch technology eliminates the need to touch an interactive display and could therefore reduce the risk of spreading bacteria or viruses on surfaces.”

JLR did not say when we are to expect the technology to be rolled out on actual cars, but it does say the tech has reached the readiness levels needed to be integrated into existing screens.

For the record, JLR’s idea is not entirely new to the world. You might have come across the term gesture recognition before, and is essence this is exactly what this British tech seems to be.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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