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Products & Technologies – Neuss, Germany –

Smart surfaces offer functionality on demand

Yanfeng demonstrates expertise in the invisible integration of features into the interior of future Smart Cabin concepts

Yanfeng, one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers and a specialist in Smart Cabin concepts, is showcasing its smart surface expertise. The new Smart Surface Demonstrator consists of seven intuitive human-machine interface (HMI) solutions that are seamlessly integrated into different surfaces. Yanfeng is thus demonstrating the various ways in which the passenger experience can be redefined to suit OEMs’ specific requirements and ideas as well as how innovative operating concepts can be implemented in a customizable and sophisticated design.

“We are using the Smart Surface Demonstrator with its multiple control interfaces as a basis for discussion about the various implementation options for HMI solutions,” explained Han Hendriks, Chief Technology Officer at Yanfeng Technology. “The shapes, colors and, in particular, features presented are examples that illustrate new degrees of freedom of design and functional integration.” The intuitive HMI technologies used are especially focused on convenience and safety and are aligned with the company’s Smart Cabin approach, by which functional surfaces, health and wellness features as well as connectivity can be seamlessly integrated into interiors in the future.

Sensor-enabled intuitive operating functions
The Smart Surface Demonstrator features an ambient light solution under a fabric-covered decorative textile surface. Travelers can control the lighting intuitively thanks to a sensor behind the light source, regulating the light color and intensity by swiping the translucent surface. As with all mechatronic solutions on the module, the lighting area is only visible in an “on” state.

The company’s expertise in integrating technology into soft surfaces goes beyond decorative textiles, extending to artificial leather as well. In addition to seamlessly integrated dynamic surface illumination, which can be used as a blind spot warning light, for example, two backlit buttons are also embedded in the artificial leather decor. The touch icons respond to interactions with color changes. Both the dynamic illumination and the buttons appear when a hand comes close - thanks to the so-called secret-till-lit technology.

Features that appear when needed
The high-gloss decorative panel of the Smart Surface Demonstrator features an iconic switch framed by corona lighting, with light orchestration used to visualize the switch function. Next to it are three touch icons with secret-till-lit effect, which are designed as controls for the seat adjustment. In addition, reconfigurable display switches have also been seamlessly integrated into decorative panel. Their switching functionality can be adapted to customer-specific operating concepts. 

Yanfeng has invisibly integrated slider touch sensor technology into authentic wood trim. The wood decor is perforated and features a backlit function indicator, which only appears when the slider is touched. The switch function is also confirmed through haptic feedback.

Functionalities from customer-specific operating concepts can be integrated on almost all interior surfaces. “With the seamless integration of intuitive HMI technologies into hard and soft interior surfaces, we are offering functionality that is only visible on demand. This allows us to support an interior experience tailored specifically to the driver and passengers,” explained Han Hendriks. “Our Smart Surface Demonstrator solutions reflect not only Yanfeng’s technology integration expertise, but also the sheer versatility of the design and implementation options for future intelligent passenger compartments.”

The Smart Surface Demonstrator functionalities are currently at a concept design stage and may be used as early as the next generation of vehicles in model year 2021. More info about the Smart Surface Demonstrator including a video can be found at: https://www.yfai.com/en/social-media.