January 10th, 2016 by Nico DeMattia
Now that the 2016 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is over, we’ve seen BMW’s latest and greatest technology and concepts. BMW debuted its Vision Future Interaction Concept, a Mirrorless i8 Concept and itsInternet of Things concept. It’s a very large suite of new technologies and it’s all extremely impressive. However, BMW wants to make it disappear into the background and make it invisible to customers.
BMW Group’s Head of Design, Adrian Van Hooydonk, recently sat down with Business Insider at CES and spoke about the future of BMW’s technologies. “The next step of technology development will see technology disappear from the surface ” Van Hooydonk said. “In the Vision Concept, you don’t see any switches but there is some very complex technology working in the background making that possible.”
The idea is that, currently, with in-car technology being so apparent, with giant screens and knobs and buttons and touchpad, BMW wants to create a better integration between technology and design. So Van Hooydonk wants the technology to be there, but doesn’t want you to see it. To demonstrate this, BMW’s Vision Interaction Concept featured a touch-sensitive leather surface that looked like any other part of the leather interior, but had a functional touchpad underneath it. Interesting stuff.
Van Hooydonk also spoke about how the auto industry, BMW specifically, must quicken its development of technology to get closer tot eh speed of the tech world. “In the electronics industry, people are getting used to product lead times of 2 to 3 years,” Van Hooydonk said. “In the automotive industry, that period is bit longer, usually 7 to 8 years.” To which he continued, “What we now have to do is uncouple the life cycle of the hardware and the software by offering such things as over-the-air software updates,” he added. “As soon as we can do that, we will be in sync with the electronics industry.”