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RPM TV Website | August 12, 2020

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Gesture controls become authorising controls

Cuban Fury. Courtesy of Studio Canal
Adam Schoeman

The motor industry is no stranger to gesture-based controls. Well, I say gesture, but a typical example is swinging a foot below the rear bumper to trigger a sensor that opens the the boot or the tailgate because both hands are holding shopping bags.

Effective yes, but considering what we are able to do with our gaming consoles, very unimaginative.

Fortunately, it seems that Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) might be moving the gesture goalposts a little further by patenting a piece of technology that would in essence evolve us from kicking out a foot to unlock the luggage compartment to busting out some fancy moves.

Not quite, but the JLR patent does refer to a sequence of motions that can be recognised and used to unlock a car, assuming that the wireless key fob is also within striking distance. The advantage of this system, apart from being much cooler, is that you are not limited by a single sensor and therefore a single door.

In theory you could link multiple gestures to different actions, such as one that will unlock just the driver’s door and a different one that also unlocks the rear passenger doors.

There is definitely a degree of novelty in this, but an equal amount of personalization potential which when last we checked was one of the sole reasons that Fiat’s 500 has done so well. A system like this could surely make the car feel more like our own.

More than that, the comedy value is unparalleled: I can think of few things more appealing than watching someone samba their way into their F-Type.

There is no word on when this technology will find its way into a production car, but we can’t wait for parking lot moves to be transformed into amateur dance recitals …

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