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Field of research: in-vehicle gesture control

The future is contactless!

A new means of operation. To minimise distraction, developers are seeking alternatives to conventional switches and buttons. In addition, the controls of modern cars are meant to boast a fashionable design and advanced mobility technology. This means we are encounter touch displays not only on our smartphones, but also in the cockpit.

Another relatively new approach includes contactless technologies such as cameras, infrared, or radar.

InnoSenT has been conducting research and development on radar-based movement detection for a long time. One application case is the contactless operation of multimedia systems and computers. Specially for automotive cockpits, there are already initial prototypes that reliably detect the movements. Thanks to further developments in the field of signal processing, it is now possible to detect many different gestures. The scope of functions is comparable to that of a video camera variant. The radar solution, however, can be produced at a significantly lower price.
  • invisible, contactless and anonymous gesture control
  • regardless of light and temperature conditions
  • resistant to noise and pollution
  • no maintenance
  • maximum design freedom through hidden placement
  • high resolution
State-of-the-art technology.

Currently, there are already two different types of systems available on the automotive market. Both utilise movement analysis for controlling the infotainment system. While one solution relies on video equipment, the other works with infrared. The already established infrared sensors detect only swipe gestures.

Gesture control via video camera recognises significantly more movement patterns than the sensor variant. This already allows you to accept calls or change the volume. This additional operating language, however, is very costly and presents a data protection dilemma, since it is constantly ready to make recordings. Neither variant currently offers an ideal solution.

Here, however, the radar experts from InnoSenT see an opportunity to create public acceptance for gesture control systems through a new technological approach: radar technology boasts advantageous properties for detecting movement patterns. It is ideal for creating a convincing system at prices that are in line with the market.

The Functionality

How does it work?

60 GHz technology is utilised for this application. The system constantly records data on movements within the detection area. It measures the speed, direction of movement, distance, and angle offset in real time in order to detect changes in the position of multiple objects. This way, the movement of persons or certain movement patterns can be tracked and mapped.

The Challenge

The devil is in the detail. Currently, a general challenge posed by gesture control is that the gestures must be known to everyone and as simple as possible. Users are used to interacting intuitively with technology. For the systems, this means that they have to know numerous ways to interpret a gesture.

For this purpose, InnoSenT employs findings from machine learning. By means of complex signal analysis, the gestures can be clearly identified and classified. For different tasks, the developers systematically assign movements in order to avoid confusion. While large movements are used to navigate, fine ones are ideal for controlling the music system.

The moment after a gesture has been completed is also difficult. The system must distinguish whether subsequent movement is deliberate or random. For certain actions, such as adjusting the volume, the system has to know at what point the recorded data indicates that a given movement performed by the user corresponds to an intended gesture. To avoid misinterpretations, the developers teach the technology what control gestures are permitted.

The Future

More than just a vision. The current progress achieved at InnoSenT in the field of gesture control research shows that radar is the future of contactless operation. The technology impresses with functionality and accuracy. It offers a variety of applications in cars.

Radar makes our day-to-day lives smart, comfort, & safe. In addition to the operation of the infotainment system, safety functions such as in-cabin monitoring can be integrated.

It is entirely up to the customer as to which tasks radar should take on in the vehicle. The possibilities are endless. InnoSenT has already developed the first customer-specific applications for gesture control. What challenge will we have the privilege of solving for you?

Benefit from innovative radar sensors. Use the technology of tomorrow today!