The German automaker has now officially unveiled the newest version, and sure enough there’s a touch-sensitive pad on the knob for the very first time. The touch surface will initially be introduced to the Chinese market next month, and will make its way to other parts of the world next year. The iDrive Controller will also feature handwriting recognition in addition to being able to easily navigate maps.
Naturally, with how many characters are in the Chinese language, the debut of BMW’s new iDrive Controller and its handwriting recognition will hopefully be heralded as revolutionary as well as time saving. As for the map navigation, anyone that has used a smartphone or tablet device in the last couple of years will find it similar in functionality. Multitouch gestures can be used to zoom in and out while the driver or passenger can easily mark POIs through touch control.
Down the road, BMW hopes the iDrive Controller will act similar to a mouse allowing users to even surf the Web from their vehicle. Pushing down on the iDrive Controller will have the same effect as clicking the mouse.