TactoTek and fischer automotive are collaborating on a smart surface technology demonstrator to present examples of design innovation that fulfil market demands for integrating styling, electronic functions and manufacturability of smart surfaces at a commercial scale.
“Demands on vehicle interior systems are very high today, and solutions must offer appealing design combined with high-quality materials,” noted Johannes Konrad, head of the management board from fischer automotive. “How parts integrate within future vehicle interiors as well as the individual functions and design elements must be considered together. Moreover, user interfaces must deliver intuitive operation, and increasingly use patterns are driven by consumer electronics.”
To demonstrate user experience features and manufacturability, the companies developed a technology demonstrator. The demonstrator highlights sensor surfaces for operating command input that are illuminated with LEDs moulded directly into the plastic that forms the engineered structure of the part. Further to individual sensors, a raised round knob is utilised for multi-touch rotary inputs. The knob is improved with tactile features to guide users. Illumination is employed for styling, guiding interactions and communicating vehicle status information to the driver.
In the design, the HMI sensors, circuitry and lighting are combined within a seamless single-piece injection moulded part that also provides the mechanical structure and is only 3mm thick. The part is designed and manufactured employing TactoTek IMSE technology.
“fischer automotive is well-known for design innovation in vehicle interiors, including air vents and multi-function components that are high-value innovation areas for smart surfaces,” noted Sami Hyyryläinen, SVP Field Operations at TactoTek. “Our shared demonstrator illustrates new styles of controls for which IMSE is well-suited and results in parts that benefit from the qualities of IMSE technology, including being light, thin and easily integrated while delivering total cost-efficiency.”