Google patent filing for gesture-based controls

Tech users of the world beware – just as touchscreens have infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives over the past decade, gesture-based controls will do the same in the coming years. And yes, that includes gesture-enabled cars, according to a patent filing by Google.

The tech giant, which has made no bones about its autonomous-vehicle aspirations and is expanding into wearable tech, has filed a patent that would see drivers use gestures to control a vehicle, according to a report from Engadget. The system, if it ever arrives in the automobile, would use a depth camera mounted on the roof of the car and a laser scanner. So for example, swiping near a window would roll it down, while making a motion at the radio would adjust the volume.

It's not hard to imagine an army of motion-based controls, not unlike what we have on a multi-touch-enabled computer, where pinching would zoom in the navigation screen, and swiping at the vents would increase the temperature or fan speed. Really, this patent raises a number of interesting questions.

And while the safety issues relating to motion-based controls in a conventional car seem as obvious as they are numerous, adding this sort of futuristic tech to an autonomous car, which as we mentioned, Google is kind of into, would be an interesting and futuristic touch (no pun intended) indeed.