BMW i inside Future Concept

BMW have been busily working on concepts for the future of automobiles, here's a look at some of the more interesting ones.

BMW HoloActive Touch

Unveiled at CES 2017, this technology allows a user to interact with a holographic UI, that appears to float in the air above the console. This is achieved through a projector and camera within the car.

What makes it even more special is that this UI provides haptic feedback through the use of subsonic speakers, which sends a localised pulse to the user's fingertips. Basically making it feel like you're touching the hologram, whenever you interact with it.

Initially, I had some issues with the placement of the interface though, particularly for the driver. When most interfaces concentrate on keeping the driver's eyes on the road, it didn't make a lot of sense to place the interface where it is. Its placement requires the driver to look away from the road, much like when drivers use their mobile phones in the car. The technology is great but currently you'd argue whether it was better than having toggles on the steering wheel. I think however, the argument is that this has been designed for driverless cars, in which case it works fine. I think in this instance you'd want to re-examine the whole structure of the car, but this is a great start for sure.

BMW Vision Next 100 Alive Geometry

This is an older concept, that allows the driver to choose between driving the car or being driven. The steering wheel itself collapses and folds away, so then the occupants are essentially in a living room scenario and being driven around.

BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100

This vision of motorcycles in the future is very interesting. Particularly the idea that technology can make riding so safe that you no longer need to wear a helmet by utilising features like 'self balancing'.

Instead they've replaced helmets with a visor that functions with a HUD (heads up display). The display itself is inspired by aircraft cockpits in that it shows the current angle of lean and the ideal line. Cleverly the display only shows when the rider decides so that it doesn't obscure the rider's vision. If the user looks up, the visor acts as a rearview mirror. If the user looks down it initiates a menu. Looking further down brings up a map.

It's a really great concept, check out the images below for a closer look...