Gesture control merely a “gimmick”, says Porsche


According to Porsche, gesture control technology found aboard various automobile infotainment systems such as the BMW’s iDrive platform and the like are merely a “gimmick” – a genuine opinion from the brand or a thinly-veiled shot at BMW, we’ll never know for sure. What we do know is that, according to CarAdvice, Porsche’s chief of human machine interface (HMI) design at Porsche isn’t convinced by the whole setup.

“We tested gesture control a lot but I do not think that this is the future. I think it’s in hype now and it’s not so exact,” Porsche HMI design chief, Lutz Krauss, told the Australian automotive portal. With gesture control, Krauss is adamant that drivers seen actively interacting with the system could portray an unintended message of some sort to pedestrians outside the vehicle.

“For example if you say next track (by waving your hand) you’re also communicating with the man outside, ‘please go’, it’s a problem to understand what does the driver really expect with this gesture,” he added. “In some other cars you have to learn the commands, it’s like in DOS, you have to learn ‘Format C:’ and it’s not an object-orientated dialogue and in a natural gesture to recognise what is ok, or yes or no.”


Interior of the Porsche 911 Carrera with the new PCM infotainment system.

With that said, Krauss isn’t exactly about to wage an all-out war on gesture control just yet. While he has stated that the current systems are still gimmicky in nature, advancements made in the field could eventually make it all the more useable. “With the algorithms that are available now (it’s a gimmick), maybe in the future the algorithms are more intelligent with gaze recognition,” he said.

The new G11 BMW 7 Series is amongst the first models to jump on the gesture control bandwagon with its iDrive 5.0 interface. Featuring said technology, the system is capable of reading one’s hand gesture to control a variety of equipment. For example, one can adjust the volume of the radio just by turning an imaginary knob in front of the massive centre-mounted display screen or reject incoming calls by ‘waving’ it away.

GALLERY: BMW iDrive 5.0 with gesture control technology

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Gregory Sze

An “actor” by training, Gregory Sze realised that he has had enough of drama in his life. Following his number one passion (acting was actually number two), he decided to make the jump into the realm of automotive journalism. He appreciates the simple things in life – a simple car with nothing but back-to-basics mechanical engineering and minimal electronics on board.



  • Gimme gimme on Nov 13, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    It’s a gimmick until they introduce it in porsches.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5
    • BMW is just literrally dangerous, says porsche.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
      • VGM Tipu Lagi on Nov 13, 2015 at 3:20 pm

        Porsche should concentrate on their own scandals like their parent Dieselgate scandals.

        And come to Malaysia and see all the VW owners are crying cause the scandal has caused ALL VW cars in Malaysia to have bad RV.

        No 2nd hand dealer also want to touch VW in Malaysia

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7
        • That is so unpractical. Like I never use the gesture function in my phone. I rather getting direct to the menu by clicking/touching the screen

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  • Because it is….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • whats wrong with pressing a button on the steering wheel?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0
    • Dark side of the moon on Nov 13, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Nothing. What’s wrong with options and progress?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9
      • nothing wrong with progress, but need progress that make sense.. such as whats the point of inventing a torch light that generate energy from the sun and only works under the sun.. its just a gimmick..

        using ur finger to press on the control button on the steering is x10 efficient and energy saving than waving ur hand..

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • mr1031 on Nov 13, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    i actually agree with porsche..physical button is still the way to go

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
    • Dark side of the moon on Nov 13, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      No one is taking physical buttons away though. Porsche should know this.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • nabill (Member) on Nov 13, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    we have reached an impass on technology in cars it seems…so any gimmicky feature is still something the other dont have , so it becomes a selling point…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • mighty 911 on Nov 13, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    at least bmw does not lie regarding their emmission & installed the defeat device on their engine to pass regulation testing. so when will porsche & it’s parent company vw going to fix those V6 diesel’s porsche too! hehehe cant resist this to tembak back vw group dieselgate issues..hehehehe

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2
    • mr1031 on Nov 13, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      well, malaysia is not affected..we don’t have regulations like don’t bother

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • ragnaroklover on Nov 13, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      Hey dumb, dumb.

      1) Porsche cars are not developed by VW. They only share platforms, which even BMW shares with other lesser cars.
      2) Porsche’s are far superior in technology and development than BMW’s.
      3) Porsche has always been and still continues to be the world’s most profitable car company, on its own. They make more money per car than BMW and VW cars combined.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6
      • Dumb porsche blind fanboy…
        1) porsche is using VW engine…don’t deny it. A macan 2.0t is the same engine as passat 2.0t.
        2) When porsche using VW engine, superior than BMW my foot.
        3) If porshce is the world most profitable car, they don’t need to sell their ass to VW to screw.


        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5
  • Agreed… waving hands would firstly take one off the steering wheel on top of perplexing people outside the car or worse – offending them. Waving ala-Kinect or Wii would be more suited for conveniently controlling home electric and electronic systems…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Gimmick on Nov 13, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Agreed, just like the eyeball tracking from Samsung. Dangerous and useless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • Dark side of the moon on Nov 13, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Obviously one will not be waving all the time. Furthermore you can still use buttons and knobs if preferred. Here’s the thing, car makers take swipes at others’ unique offering if they feel they missed out on something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • CarmenTung on Nov 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I agreed, it’s a features that I probably never gonna use when I get the car, prefer touching screen or better physical contact with button.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • We’ll be having self-driving car in the future anyway, so might as well put your hands to good use. ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • macromedia on Nov 13, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Now here’s a lad with good sense.

    I personally the future is smart tech that predicts what you need without you having to request at all. Detecting your mood by pheromones or temp to set the mood. Read out breaking news that may or may not affect your journey or in coming meetings, time to change tyres, inflate it, service your car, all without over complicating a car at all. NON exclusive to cars. It is cross device cross-everydarnthing in our life, IoT I heard em say. Some say… skynet

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Even thought is a gimmick, so what? Mind your own business. In the management point of view sincerely suggest instead comment others why don’t keep low profile this moment? Overcome the scandal ASAP is the priority of an organization. Later from there regain market reputation and trust.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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