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BMW’s Innovative Gesture Control Technology Sets the Industry Standard

Can We Say Magic Behind the Wheel? BMW Sets the Industry Standard with its Gesture Control Technology

When it comes to high-tech, hand’s free commands inside luxury cars, BMW has been leading the pack for some years.  Need to turn down the music? Answer a call? Turn up the heat? Simply point your finger or wave your hand and BMW Gesture Control has you covered. Just like magic.

BMW gesture control technology

In fact, the BMW Gesture Control feature is all about helping drivers become less distracted while enjoying a safer drive.  That’s because with gesture control when decisions need to be made on the spur of the moment simple hand gestures perform various actions in your BMW without you needing to take your eyes off the road. No need to become distracted operating dials and buttons.  
It’s an innovative technology designed to make both driver and passenger feel safe. 

Here is a sampling of the Gesture Control Hand Gestures from BMW:

BMW Gesture Control Hand Gesture
  • Accept a Call – Point to the BMW iDrive Touchscreen
  • Reject a Call – Swipe Your Hand to the Right 
  • Turn the Volume Up – Circle Your Finger Clockwise 
  • Turn the Volume Down – Circle Your Finger Counter-Clockwise 
  • Change Rearview Camera Angle –Create a Circle with Your Thumb and Forefinger 
  • Select Navigation/Custom Setting – Point to the Touchscreen with Two Fingers  

Not so long ago you might have looked a bit odd driving and randomly waving and gesturing inside your car. But other drivers – especially those who know BMW – now are becoming accustomed to this increasingly familiar site.  We are slowly but surely getting used to people interacting with their iDrive system on the road.

BMW’s gesture control allows drivers to control certain iDrive functions using hand gestures that are captured by a 3D camera. By gesturing – or making simply moves with your hand – the driver can decline a phone call, turn down the music, input navigation destinations or even change the angle in the 360 degree view of the vehicle.

BMW Gesture Control Technology

BMW gesture control technology allows you to safely interact with the iDrive system while remaining focused and free of stress. Plus it’s fun!  

Gesture Control centers on 3D technology. You will find the BMW gesture control sensors in the roof lining of the car adjacent to the rear view mirror.  

According to the Bimmer-tech website the sensors translate a set of pre-defined hand gestures made in front of the center console, just above the gearshift lever. For the system to work properly, the driver should gesticulate close to the screen, according to the website.

The full BMW gesture control list of commands also includes:

Gesture Contol Hand Signals BMW
  • Changing the 360-degree Rear View Camera angle: Pinch and drag to the left/right
  • Skip back: Move extended thumbs to the left
  • Skip forward: Move extended thumbs to the right
  • 2 Configurable Gestures: Extend index and middle fingers, or extend 5 fingers, form a fist and extend 5 fingers again

Need a visual? Check out this video and learn how to perform some of the hand gestures.

The Gesture Control feature premiered six years ago with the advent of the G11/G12 7 Series BMW, which came with an NBT Evo ID6 iDrive.

These days gesture control can be found in just about  every BMW with Operating System 7.0, which supports the newest MGU head unit. 

The list of G-Series BMWs with an Operating System 7.0 (MGU iDrive) includes:

What are BMW's hand signals
  • BMW 3 Series (G20)
  • BMW 4 Series (G22)
  • BMW 5 Series (G30)
  • BMW 6 Series (G32)
  • BMW 7 Series (G11)
  • BMW 8 Series (G15)
  • BMW X3 (G01)
  • BMW X4 (G02)
  • BMW X5 (G05)
  • BMW X6 (G06)
  • BMW X7 (G07)
  • BMW Z4 (G29)

Is Gesture Control standard? Not always. Sometimes it’s standard and sometimes it can be retrofitted. Gesture Control Parking inside the BMW i3, for instance, recognizes gestures and drives into and out of a parking space fully automatically. Whether a BMW has it or can have it depends on whether your BMW is equipped with a camera in the roof function center or not, according to Bimmertech.

So, spin your fingers in a circle and you’ll turn up the volume on your favorite tunes; point down to accept a phone call from the spouse or swipe away to reject it. Simply pointing fingers at the screen will bring up whatever function you’ve  programmed for it, whether it’s switching menu screens or changing the FM radio station.

It’s all about the magic of hands-free controls. And for BMW the future is now. 

To discover if Gesture Control  is included in your BMW (or the BMW of your dreams). Check out our BMW inventory today!

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