Now that BMW has introduced gesture controls on some of its cars, BMW is thinking one step ahead into the future. The automaker will show off a holographic touchscreen at the Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas.
The completely virtual touchscreen, dubbed BMW HoloActive Touch, requires no contact with the actual surface of the car. Instead, users can make gestures with their hands to activate control pads on a virtual display. When the user's fingertip makes contact with the controls, a pulse is emitted to let the user know the input was received.
Users must operate the controls in an area around the center console, where a camera is able to pick up on the gestures and register the position of the fingertips. BMW says its holographic touchscreen works much like its head-up display, creating a display image through the use of reflections.
It's unclear if this technology will enter production, but it might not be such a wild possibility after all. BMW's gesture control technology, which was shown at the 2015 CES show, eventually made its way onto the BMW 7 Series and BMW 5 Series.
BMW may have come up with our best glimpse yet into a future with hologram interiors, but it isn't the first automaker to envision the concept. Porsche introduced the Mission E Concept with a holographic display, and Lexus' UX Concept featured a transparent holographic-style globe inside the center console for projecting climate and infotainment information. Last year, Mercedes previewed how holograms can be used on an autonomous vehicle.