IBM Steering Wheel Utilizes ICE in Saab 9-3

Posted on 20. Jun, 2008 by in 2000-2009

This film showcases an IBM reverse engineered steering wheel that utilizes the in car entertainment system and more on a beautiful first generation Saab 9-3!

This has got to be one of the strangest pieces of technology. How interesting would it be if it were integrated with the Saab+Ipod Audio by Granite Embedded Systems in New Hampshire?

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.

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.

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One Response to “IBM Steering Wheel Utilizes ICE in Saab 9-3”

  1. Carl

    20. Jun, 2008

    Actually, there was no use of any of the car’s pre-existing systems with that system. I’m not poised to make Guitar Hero a feature in people’s cars right now 🙂 I’ll stick to banging on the dash cover like it were a baby grand…

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