We've seen Pioneer's Cyber Navi visor system that lets drivers believe they're in the car of the future, but the Raku Navi ("easy navigation") system is about making things simpler to use. The company is showing off its AVIC-MRZ009 unit at CEATEC this week, and we got to see for ourselves what difference hands-off control could make to your driving.
Zoom in and out by moving left and right
The system features an "Air Gesture Sensor" beneath a 7-inch touchscreen, and this lets you do a couple of useful things. Simply holding your finger in front of the map screen will bring up soft keys and information such as the currently playing song in a small window; tapping this will take you to a more detailed screen, and making the same gesture again will display the map once more in a small overlay. You're also able to zoom in and out of the map by moving your hand left and right.
Although the gestures work reliably, it's clear that Pioneer isn't trying to completely reinvent its own interface; the motion sensor functionality sits on top of the existing system, and the touchscreen is still required for the majority of commands. Still, the approach could mean less time taking your eyes off the road to search for buttons on a dashboard. The AVIC-MRZ009 is due out next week in Japan, and Pioneer told us to expect a price of around ¥125,000 (about $1,600).