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IBM Steering Wheel Takes In-Car Entertainment To A New Level

The normally stuffy suits at IBM must've raided the ex-Xerox PARC labs for their latest project, as it's a bit out of left field. IBM is working on a steering wheel that has the ability to read a driver's lips and also serve as a drum machine. It does have some practical uses, as well — as if anything could be more practical than a lip-reading in-car drum machine.

The IBM system, which goes by the name of "Artificial Passenger," can use touch-sensitive controls to perform basic functions throughout the vehicle like rolling down the windows, controlling the media player and answering the phone. The camera mounted in the middle of the steering wheel can perform similar functions by reading the lips of the driver. But the real fun with this system is the beatbox integration.

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Think of it like Guitar Hero on your steering wheel. The touch controls are at 10 and 2, where your hands should be regardless, allowing you can tap out beats with the accompanying music. Redundant controls and a lip-reading camera are also integrated into the passenger side, so when you do have a passenger, they can enjoy the fun as well. Check out the video above for a full demonstration of the very strange system. [Autopia]

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DISCUSSION

LandofMinos
LandofMinos: ...sent down to strike the unroadworthy!

I did not expect this to come from IBM in America. I'd expect this gimmick to come from some obscure Japanese company that normally would make cell phones for pets and Hello Kitty condoms (marketed as Hello Pussy) or some shit.

I could tappity tap my way into oblivion at 75mph. Maybe IBM could program it to steer into a wall if SLR Guy gets behind the wheel.