As the world becomes more touch-centric, with smartphones and touch screens everywhere we look, the thought of having touch-sensitive smart fabric in our vehicles is interesting, to say the least. Apparently German luxury automaker BMW is already looking at ways to incorporate that particular touch-sensitive fabric into future models.
The concept in its simplest form would allow drivers to say, change the volume on their radio by gently touching their car seat. Of course automakers are looking for better ways to take advantage of the technology, hoping to do away with buttons and controls currently cluttering our interiors. Researchers at the Polytechnic School in Montreal, Canada have successfully developed a soft polymer-based fiber with electrical properties that can be woven into the fabric.
Rather than using metal wires, the smart fabric has woven conductive plastics, allowing it to be cleaned and no one has to fear about liquids spilling onto their seats and something going haywire. The electrical properties of the smart fabric can change depending on where the fabric is touched, and it’ll be able to detect finger touches or slides on different areas in order to have different functionality.
It’s a rather interesting concept, but it’ll be even more interesting on how automakers implement it to be user friendly and actually beneficial in its functionality.