‘Contactless touchscreen displays.’ No matter how many times we try saying it, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s not an oxymoron we’re trying to figure out—it’s real technology developed by Jaguar Land Rover, and it’s proof that we really are living in the future.
As the name suggests, it’s a touchscreen display that can be controlled without the user actually making contact with the surface. It’s powered by a new patented ‘predictive touch’ technology that utilizes AI and sensors to predict what a person intends to press on the display.
It features a gesture tracker that combines contextual information such as user profiles or environmental conditions from vision- or radio frequency-based sensors with data from other sensors to predict the user’s intentions in real time.
This new feature not only reduces the risk of spreading bacteria and viruses, but it also allows drivers to focus more on the road and less on the infotainment display, thus preventing possible accidents. JLR was able to develop the tech with engineers at the University of Cambridge.
“As countries around the world exit lockdown, we notice how many everyday consumer transactions are conducted using touchscreens: railway or cinema tickets, ATMs, airport check-ins, and supermarket self-service checkouts, as well as many industrial and manufacturing applications,” said Jaguar Land Rover human machine interface technical specialist Lee Skrypchuk.
“Predictive touch technology eliminates the need to touch an interactive display and could therefore reduce the risk of spreading bacteria or viruses on surfaces,” Skrypchuck added. “The technology also offers us the chance to make vehicles safer by reducing the cognitive load on drivers and increasing the amount of time they can spend focused on the road ahead. This is a key part of our Destination Zero journey.”
“Touchscreens and other interactive displays are something most people use multiple times per day, but they can be difficult to use while in motion, whether that’s driving a car or changing the music on your phone while you’re running,” said Cambridge University Department of Engineering professor Simon Godsill. “We also know that certain pathogens can be transmitted via surfaces, so this technology could help reduce the risk for that type of transmission.”
The new technology lines up with JLR’s Destination Zero vision that seeks to make vehicles safer and more environment-friendly.