Since Microsoft released their Xbox Kinnect system so many companies have tried to incorporate gesture technology into their devices, with some of them having minor success. However, the technology is getting better all the time, but from what we have seen is a long way from being used in cars — or so we thought.
A recent patent shows that Google is pushing for gesture control cars, which is just another step in their vision of autonomous-vehicles. The thought of touchscreen technology in vehicles ten, even five years ago was something we could only dream of, but now this is considered a normal feature in a cars interior.
One day, in the not too distant future, gesture-based car controls will take over from touchscreens, and Google would rather it sooner than later. Looking at the patent filing it would seem as though Google would use some sort of depth camera that is mounted on the roof inside the car, as well as a laser scanner.
This could mean your car interior would come with far less physical controls, so no buttons to wind down windows. Instead you could just use a swiping motion near the window to lower or raise them.
Other possibilities could be a hand motion near the radio to make it go louder or quieter, or adjust the temperature of the climate control just by a simple motion near the heater vents.
If this patent does make its way into cars a few years down the line, then the possibilities are endless, although there will always be the safety aspect to consider, but we are sure Google would have already thought of that.
Personally, we believe that speech recognition would be far better and safer than gesture control. The technology has been used for far longer, it just needs to be improved so you do not have to talk like an idiot in order for the system to understand what you are asking.