One of the all-time great comic book characters is Mandrake the Magician who, as his moniker implies, is a magician. To perform his feats of daring-do against a wide array of villains (there is nothing that Batman or Spiderman faced that Mandrake, nattily arrayed in top hat and tails, didn’t stare down), Mandrake would “gesture hypnotically,” waving his arm and hand in a dignified sweep.
Image: King Features
Mandrake comes to mind in the context of a cockpit concept form Visteon, the Horizon. Shandi Mere, innovation manager of Visteon, said of the approach, which combines gesture control, a virtual touch screen, and a dual-layered display, “The Horizon cockpit concept shows possibilities for combining real-time rendered 3D graphics with advanced display technologies.”
It is the gesture control that is Mandrake-like. That is, there is an advanced camera system that maps the user’s hand, which then appears on the screen. Some vehicle controls can subsequently be controlled by a gesture.
So, for example, rather than turning a physical radio volume knob, one need only gesture hypnotically—I mean make a turning motion in air—to make the necessary adjustment.
Visteon research indicates that 70% of those surveyed have a “strong interest” in the virtual volume knob.
Wonder how many are practicing magicians. . . .