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No More Touchscreens With the Kia V-Touch

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Kia looks to post-autonomous driving era at CES 2019

We know we’ve been writing a lot about Kia’s booth at CES 2019, but there’s so much cool technology going on there that it’s hard not to. We’ve already covered self-parking, self-charging car concepts and the SEED/BIRD cars, so now let’s move on to one of Kia’s other exciting innovations that’s a little closer at hand, literally: Kia V-Touch.

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V-Touch does away with buttons, touchpads, and touchscreens by using multiple 3D cameras that can follow your eye and hand movements to determine what settings you want to change. For example, if you hold your hand in the general direction of the main display and swipe left or right, you’ll be able to cycle through various settings like music or climate control. Once you’re on the desired setting, you can then rotate your finger to increase or lower the temperature or sound.

Sounds cool, right? It reminds us of the interactive holograms from Star Wars and other sci-fi films where you can interact with an immaterial light display and navigate it like a touchscreen.

There’s no hologram to match your finger swipes at the moment, but Kia’s booth attendees at CES were able to try it out in limited capacity, using hand gestures and twirling fingers to swipe through virtual menus.

Kia views the V-Touch system as a post-autonomous driving feature more than anything. In the video below, Hee-Won Shin, an Electronics Advanced Engineering Design Team Research Engineer, mentions that V-Touch will be merged with self-driving technology and A.I. systems in the future to create the next level of transportation.

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We might see a refined V-Touch before level four or five autonomous cars arrive on the scene, especially since V-Touch is being developed separately from autonomous driving systems. Still, it would be nice to control everything with gestures and swipes. Let’s hope that it doesn’t encourage people to use Tinder while driving before full-autonomy hits.