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Google Files Patent for Gesture-Based Car Controls

Posted By Charley Cameron On October 4, 2013 @ 9:00 am In Green Transportation,News | No Comments

google, flutter, gesture control, self-driving car, autonomous car, hand gestures, future cars, automotive technology, green cars [1]

Just one day after Google [2] announced its purchase of hand gesture recognition company Flutter [3], the search giant has applied for a patent for gesture-based car controls. On first read, the notion is pretty comical—as Engadget [4] points out, the current array of oft-used in-car gestures serve little purpose other than to rage at fellow drivers. But Google hopes that we might be able to diversify a bit—changing the radio station or adjusting the a/c with little more than a wave of the hand.

google, flutter, gesture control, self-driving car, autonomous car, hand gestures, future cars, automotive technology, green cars [5]

Google’s patent, which was filed with the USPTO this week [6], shows a system that would utilize a ceiling-mounted depth camera and a laser scanner to read simple gestures as commands for vehicle operation. Just as their autonomous driving [7] technology could make the roads safer by reducing accidents that result from human error or distracted driving [8], the gesture-based car controls look as though they could yield their own safety benefits. Rather than scrambling for buttons on doors, consoles or a vehicle’s steering wheel, one could simply wave ones arm about to open or close a window or adjust the dial on the radio.

Ironically, two years ago Google “launched” GMail Motion [9], an April Fool’s joke that suggested they were developing a new language for interacting with GMail through hand gestures. With the recent patent application and the purchase of Flutter, that doesn’t sounds quite so ridiculous any more.

+ USPTO

Via Engadget [4]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/google-files-patent-for-gesture-based-car-controls/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/10/google-gesture-car-controls-patent.jpg

[2] Google: http://inhabitat.com/tag/google

[3] purchase of hand gesture recognition company Flutter: http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/02/google-acquires-flutter-gesture-control/

[4] Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/03/google-applies-for-patent-on-gesture-based-car-controls/?ncid=rss_truncated

[5] Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/10/Google-Self-Driving-Car-gesture-control.jpg

[6] filed with the USPTO this week: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=16&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=%2820131003.PD.+AND+Google.AS.%29&OS=PD/20131003+AND+AN/Google&RS=%28PD/20131003+AND+AN/Google%29

[7] autonomous driving: http://inhabitat.com/tag/autonomous-car

[8] distracted driving: http://inhabitat.com/tag/self-driving-car

[9] GMail Motion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu927_ul_X0

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