Not too far in the distant future - perhaps even within the next two to three years or so (so several articles say) - you are going to stop at a traffic light, glance at the car next to yours and notice that the pretty girl/handsome man behind the wheel is winking at you.
Not only that, he or she seems to be making gestures that seem to indicate that - hey, hey - today is your lucky day and you had better seize the moment or see it all disappear - literally - in a cloud of exhaust smoke.
Sadly (given the innovation I have in mind), if you had done a carpe diem, at best you would have had a tight slap or a "get lost, loser" tossed at you.
At worst, you could be slapped with a sexual harassment suit and a court restraining order by the wronged party.
You see, that object of your misplaced affection was not winking or gesturing at you, they were probably trying to control the volume on their in-car entertainment system or trying to get the temperature control or even trying to activate the turning signals.
The boffins and brainiacs at Harman (I love how the company is labelled "global infotainment specialist") are experimenting with a technology that allows you to control the various gadgets in your car with a nod, a wink, various other assorted facial expressions and the odd hand gesture or three.
An article in Britain's Daily Mail, which interviewed one of the Harman engineers who designed the technology, provided a handy list of how the car of the near future could be could be controlled by your face:
A wink: Turn the radio on/off Nod left: Turn up the volume Nod right: Turn the volume down Tap the steering wheel with a finger: Skip to the next track/radio channel Left hand up: Turn the heater up Left hand down: Turn the air-cond on Phone gesture: Make a phone call
The system makes use of an infra-red sensor mounted on a car's dashboard that would activate the necessary gadget when it "detects" the appropriate gesture or action.
The technology is also, apparently, "smart" enough to know the difference between an actual command gesture and an accidental wink because smoke gets in your eyes.
As Harman director of technology Hans Roth was quoted in the British paper (and in other publications), this sensor's main role was one of safety.
"'It's all about reducing distractions in the car. If you don't have to take your hands off the wheel or look down then it's obviously safer," Roth said. He also said that he expected the technology to be available in mass market cars within the next three years.
He did admit, however, of an interesting problem with the technology, standardisation. "We are still testing a list of gestures which could be standard for all cars across the world. You've got to make sure it's culturally acceptable. In Italy, for example, drivers use hand gestures a lot when they drive; so it needs finalising."
Of course, many would argue that it would take more than the three years that Roth had forecasted before such a handy piece of tech ends up in a Myvi or a Saga.
In fact, more often than not, such a system would probably be found in a Mercedes, BMW and Audi rather than the family Exora.
Such sceptics would probably be right... but up to a point. Like all rich men's toys, eventually they do trickle down to the rest of us.
After all, as Tex Reed's delightful "5 Luxury Auto Gadgets We All Get Now" article on MainStreet.com puts it, a rear view mirror on a 1911 Model T Ford was once a US$1,900 optional extra.
Yet, while the rest of us can hope for the nod, nod, nudge, nudge, wink, wink tech to finally become a standard in our bog standard cars, the sad truth is that we will always have a long, long wait before the big boys' toys are made available to us working stiffs.
Until the real revolution rolls our way, the bourgeoisie will always have the real cool gadgets like hazard avoidance tech, night vision screens, head-up displays, traction control, acoustic sound damping, mood lighting, moon roofs, iDrive, SI Drive... and the list goes on and on and on.
Besides, would you really want to turn off your car stereo with a wink of an eye?
Think of all the chaos and mayhem the likes of Hannah Tan, Amber Chia and Stephen Rahman-Hughes could cause if they just wanted to turn on the CD player whilst wanting to make a phone call via their car's Bluetooth system.
So, perhaps it is a good thing Harman's wonderful little box of tricks is not yet available... yet.