The TouchCommand uses a tablet with a special BMW app for controlling the car's infotainment system

A new version of BMW's iDrive infotainment system was recently unveiled at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, along with their new TouchCommand system. Both systems are still on their prototype phase and may be used on future BMW automobiles by 2016.

The new iDrive makes use of a touchscreen function instead of the rotary iDrive control unit at the center console. It also supports gesture recognition technology that uses a roof-mounted 3D sensor that can detect a user's hand gestures in controlling the system's menus and settings. The hand gestures can only be recognized by the system in the area between the gear lever, steering wheel and Control Display.

The hand gesture technology of the new BMW iDrive

According to BMW, the system can recognize different movements such as finger tapping, finger rotations, or a swiping movement of the hand. A rotating motion can adjust the volume of the radio and a raised finger can accept an incoming call. On the other hand, a swiping movement of the hand can be used to decline the call.

The TouchCommand system of BMW

Next is the TouchCommand rear seat control system. Making use of a tablet with a special BMW app, users at the rear seats can adjust everything with the app like controlling the car's cabin temperature, infotainment systems and rear seats. The tablet is stored in a crash proof holder that comes with a snap-in adapter for recharging its battery.