Kia to showcase emotional intelligence tech at CES 2019

By Vignesh Giridharan | Updated 4 Jan 2019
Kia to showcase emotional intelligence tech at CES 2019
  • Kia cars of the future could set the in-vehicle environment for you based on your mood.


  • Kia plans to showcase emotion-based technology at CES this year
  • Its V-Touch tech will use gestures to control in-vehicle settings
  • Kia also has an electric power-assisted four-wheel cycle planned



While most automakers in 2019 are talking about self-driving cars, it seems Kia is in 2029. Its most recent press release suggests it's going beyond autonomy and all the way to the realm of emotional intelligence. Kia is expected to showcase its new R.E.A.D. System at this year's CES in Las Vegas. It's also expected to showcase a new gesture tech called V-Touch. Clearly then, this Korean car maker's got more plans up its sleeves than just setting up store in India this year.

R.E.A.D. System is short for Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving System. What it aims to do is actively read and interpret the driver's emotions so it can simultaneously optimise the in-vehicle environment. What this means is that the R.E.A.D. system can personalise the driver space, including lighting, sound, cabin temperature, seat vibration, and scent, based simply on bio signals from the user like facial expressions and heartbeat. Kia has developed the READ System in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab's Affective Computing group.

"Kia considers the interactive cabin a focal point for future mobility, and the R.E.A.D. System represents a convergence of cutting-edge vehicle control technology and AI-based emotional intelligence. The system enables continuous communication between driver and vehicle through the unspoken language of ‘feeling’, thereby providing an optimal, human-sense oriented space for the driver in real-time," said Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research & Development Division of Hyundai Motor Group.


Along with the R.E.A.D. System, Kia is also expected to showcase V-Touch, a virtual touch-type gesture control technology, using which many of the car's features can be controlled. It works by actively looking for and tracking the user's sightline and fingertip position using a 3D camera. For example, a swish of the user's finger in front of the dashboard could result in the change of in-vehicle settings like temperature and sunroof position.

In addition to these two technologies, Kia is also expected to present its 'SEED Car' concept at CES, which is essentially a four-wheel electric cycle with a range of 100 kilometres. It's based on a pedal-electric hybrid system in that pedal input from the user is required but a high degree of electric power assistance will be provided. Kia also plans to give its visitors an enhanced experience at CES.



Related Read: Kia Optima Review

Vignesh Giridharan
Progressively identifies with the term 'legacy device' as time marches on.

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