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Products & Technologies – Neuss, Germany –

Smart surfaces personalize the interior

Smart surfaces offer functionality and flexibility for a vehicle’s interior

New concepts and forms of mobility require flexible solutions inside the vehicle.
An important role in this regard is being played by smart surfaces.

In the future, every surface inside the vehicle can become a smart surface. Various operating functions in the vehicle will be seamlessly and invisibly integrated into the design of the interior, and information will be able to be accessed flexibly at all times. This will be made possible by the seamless integration of HMI (human-machine interface) technologies, such as displays or capacitive switches. In the vehicle’s interior, smart surfaces particularly offer a wide latitude in design in terms of future mobility solutions. Thanks to self-driving vehicles, we’ll soon no longer have to concentrate solely on the road. That will make the vehicle interior more important as it become an expanded, mobile living room – the Next Living Space.

Nearly all surfaces inside the vehicle offer the ability to personalize functions. For center consoles, the innovative Yanfeng-KOSTAL module shows what that might look like. With a display integrated in three-dimensional curved glass and innovative switch technologies, the center console becomes a seamlessly integrated, interactive control unit. But the concept is not limited to just hard, decorative surfaces – elements made of soft laminates, such as instrument panels or the midsections of door panels, can take on an interactive function in addition to their decorative one.

With the development concept activeSkin, digital data can be displayed even on soft surfaces. Surfaces that were only a decorative function, now with a simple touch, become a functional, touch-sensitive control surface that interacts with the passenger or activates lighting effects tailored to their needs. This allows the creation of a three-dimensional effect with impressive room depth. Since functionality is visible only when needed, this makes it possible to implement new degrees of freedom in interior design.

This new technology is particularly interesting for car-sharing concepts of the future because it can be customized. As soon as a person gets into a vehicle, the digital content from apps or mobile devices could be synchronized, as could stored preferences for lighting and room ambience. This makes it possible to create an experience inside the vehicle that is tailored to the passenger. With activeSkin, YFAI is turning the interior into an extended living room – the Next Living Space.