Canatu cooperates with Continental for 3D touch in automotive interiors


Canatu from Helsinki, Finland, recently announced a development cooperation with the German technology company Continental. Canatu and Continental have been working on a completely new type of transparent, 3D touch surfaces in automotive interiors, resulting the world’s first touchscreen featuring a 3D touch surface. The transparent 3D shapes have been enabled by thin and conductive Canatu CNB films and sensors.

The concept information display can be operated instinctively by using a 3D-formed touch surface. This seamless 3D surface was selected as one of CES 2018 Best of Innovation Awards honorees in the “In-Vehicle Audio/Video” category in January 2018 at Consumer Electronic Show, Las Vegas. It was also awarded with the Display Component of the Year 2018 Award of the Society for Information Display (SID) in May 2018 in Los Angeles.

The future’s HMI will change the driver and passenger experiences totally. With cars becoming increasingly connected, there are also a growing number of touch displays in every vehicle enabling touch and voice interaction.

“We should not forget safety issues with increased UI functionalities,” says Juha Kokkonen, Canatu’s CEO. “The tactile sensing of our 3D shaped surfaces, such as buttons, sliders and switches – integrated to displays – decreases driver distraction, that is, the driver can use the controls effortlessly, while keeping his focus on driving. Meanwhile interiors are stylish and functional.”

This also inspired Continental to create the concept of its centre information display with a 3D touch surface. “The innovative Canatu material gave us new degrees of freedom in cockpit design. It also supports blind operability through physical finger guides and therefore enhances the user experience,” says Kai Hohmann, product manager display solutions, Continental Business Unit Instrumentation and Driver HMI.

“We are extremely excited about the evolution the automotive industry is going through, there are almost no limits to what can be innovated together with our partners,” adds Kokkonen.

Caption: Continental’s and Canatu’s concept 3D touch surface display (photo: Canatu)

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