AirTouch: new BMW tech due for CES debut

Published: 27 December 2015

► New BMW i8 roadster concept
► Mooted for CES show 2016
► Premieres new AirTouch tech

BMW will premiere several new technologies at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas - including a new system called AirTouch, letting drivers control a touchscreen without actually swiping it.

The system is essentially a development of gesture control, as premiered on the new 7-series, adding three-dimensional recognition so people can now effect more complex signals with their hands. AirTouch is reportedly going to be shown on a new i8 Spyder concept car, hinting that an electrified production roadster isn't far away.

What will AirTouch let BMW drivers do?

The advantages explained by Munich in advance of CES are:

  • Using a touchscreen without actually touching it
  • Sensors by rear-view mirror monitor hand signals
  • Now three-dimensional hand movements read
  • Works in tandem with button to scroll through virtual menus

It won't be the first time Munich has shown a roofless i8: it showed a similar concept at the 2012 Beijing motor show, where bosses admitted that decapitating their range-extender hybrid sports car was no easy task.

Now it seems that a production i8 Spyder isn't far away. Click here for our review of the range-extender coupe.

Why is BMW showing another i8 convertible?

Because the CES is a great showground for new technology and interior gadgets - and a cabriolet is the preferred way of opening up the cabin for showgoers to gaze at the new wizardry inside.

Click here to read our BMW i8 twin test with the Porsche 911.

The previous BMW i8 Spyder concept car from 2012

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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