BMW Gaze Tracker to Entertain Bored Passengers

Looking out of the passenger window on a long dull drive could become a world of information and entertainment with BMW’s gaze-tracking technology.

The system is the headline feature in the BMW i Interaction EASE showcased at 2020 Consumer Electronics Show this week. The vehicle’s AI detects when a passenger fixes their gaze on an object outside the car and offers them relevant information on it or other ways to interact with it.

It’s part of the automaker’s HMI strategy to create an new interactive experience designed to be as simple and natural as possible. Alongside verbal engagement with the brand’s personal assistant and a new type of gesture control, the gaze detection system hopes enable new ways of responding to the passenger’s needs. Rather than users needing to first learn specific commands in different modes, the vehicle’s AI processes the acoustic and visual information received from a variety of sensors and interprets it according to the driving situation, time, location, and vehicle signals.

It then uses gaze sensing for browsing the space around the user and vehicle, while pointing can also be used to register a selection for more information.  In this way the system wants to become part of the passenger conversation so that a spoken or gesture command can then be given to initiate interaction with the target object, such as a restaurant or cinema.

Yet, by being an extra virtual passenger, let’s just hope it doesn’t end up joining the rear seat chorus: “Why aren’t we there yet?”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *