BMW Is Putting Augmented Reality Next To The Steering Wheel

BMW Is Putting Augmented Reality Next To The Steering Wheel
Augmented & Virtual Reality

The HoloActive Touch system is a floating display that uses reflections to create the illusion of a hovering screen

Ido Lechner, Home Editor
  • 5 january 2017

Instead of the embedding HUDs and GPS’s on the windshield—an approach many future-forward automakers are taking to enhance the driving experience—BMW has recently revealed that its developing a HoloActive Touch system, a floating augmented reality display right next to the steering wheel. Utilizing reflections to create the illusion of a hovering screen, along with a camera to interpret touches and movement, the gesture-based interface syncs to the company’s Connected Cloud architecture.

The system follows in the footsteps of the German giant’s AirTouch, which made its debut in CES 2016 and is part of an ongoing development to make screens virtually weightless and AR-like. According to BMW’s press release, this will mark the first time in-vehicle navigation, communication and entertainment functions will be operable without having to touch solid materials.

Ultimately the innovation may prove to be one of few that will survive the automated vehicle revolution. While a driverless future is still vague in terms of visual aesthetics, at CES 2017, BMW promised that its HoloActive Touch system will be just one of many “trailblazing and revolutionary technology.”

HoloActive Touch

For more information on what to see a CES, check out our CES Guide 2017!


The PSFK CES Guide 2017 helps creative professionals attending CES or following along globally to track the latest innovations in consumer technology. Guides are available for mobile, desktop or print-ready format—download them here. Access and share the PSFK CES Guide 2017 on Slideshare here. For a more detailed survey of changing consumer expectations, access PSFK’s Forecast 2020.


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