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BMW Takes In-Car Gesturing to a New Level in 7 Series

CARS.COM — With its Gesture Control system, the 2016 BMW 7 Series has set its sights on introducing a few more hand gestures to a driver's lexicon. And the middle finger is not involved.

Related: Research the 2016 BMW 7 Series

This standard system allows you to forego pressing any buttons or turning any knobs to do things such as increase or decrease the audio volume. Making any of six available gestures in the vicinity of the center console allows 3-D sensors to register and complete the requested-by-movement actions. Whenever a gesture is available, a small icon appears on the 10.2-inch high-resolution touch-screen on the dash.

I found the system responsive and fun, even if it sometimes seemed to take a few moments to recognize my gestures, particularly with volume control. Yes, I could have used the volume knob, but where's the fun in that?

The available gestures in the 7 Series are:

  • Turn up the volume by circling a finger clockwise
  • Turn down the volume by circling a finger counter-clockwise
  • Accept a phone call by pointing toward the touch-screen
  • Reject a call by swiping your hand to the right
  • Change the camera angle of the multicamera view by creating a circle with your thumb and finger
  • There's also a programmable two-finger point toward the screen gesture (for example, you can program this gesture to navigate to your home address from wherever you are).

I found the gestures for accepting and rejecting phone calls to be the most satisfying. Honestly, there is some real pleasure to be found in literally swiping away a work call that you are loath to take.

All this fun comes at a price. The 2016 BMW 750i xDrive sedan I tested was $129,245. That price might be worth it, though, because it felt wildly satisfying to swipe away those calls I didn't want to take.

 
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