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Google Files Patents For Gesture-Based In-Car Controls

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Gesture-based in-car controls from Google

Gesture-based in-car controls from Google

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As drivers, we rely on certain gestures to relay information to other motorists on the road. Be it a friendly wave after someone lets you merge, or a less-than-friendly single-digit hello when someone cuts you off.

Now it seems that some gestures could be taking place inside the car in order to give you a bit more control over what's happening in the cabin of your vehicle. The tech-loving folks at Engadget uncovered some patent filings from Google, and it appears that Skynet the California-based company is looking to bring gesture-based controls to market.

The patent applications show a number of movements that would allow the driver to control a variety of features. For example, an upward wave in front of the climate control vent could increase the fan speed while a downward swipe would decrease the speed. A horizontal swipe could raise or lower the temperature depending on the direction of the swipe. Other functions that could be controlled include the drivers seat positioning and the side windows moving up and down. Of course, that's probably just the tip of this technological iceberg.

With technology like this, it doesn't seem too far-fetched that more items controlled with gestures would be added down the road. Perhaps the radio could be tuned with a swipe to the left or right and the volume controlled with an up or down swipe, or a circling motion. The navigation map could zoom in and out with a pinching or opening motion of the hand. A call could be taken or ended with a move of the hand up to the ear or down to the center stack. It all sounds very cool, and could serve as another way for drivers to keep their eyes on the road where they belong.

We also hope the next level of gesture-based commands will finally allow for that car-to-car chat you've wanted to have with the Prius driver that refuses to get out of the left lane.

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