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Smart Touch ® Sensing Places the Power of the Microprocessor at Your Fingertips

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-4614, e-ISSN: 1946-4622
Published April 20, 2009 by SAE International in United States
Smart Touch
 Sensing Places the Power of the Microprocessor at Your Fingertips
Citation: Kirby, E. and Guerrero, R., "Smart Touch® Sensing Places the Power of the Microprocessor at Your Fingertips," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars – Electron. Electr. Syst. 2(1):159-162, 2009,
Language: English


Smart Touch® sensing is a breakthrough in human interface technology allowing direct access to computer power, such as with the highly successful iPhone™ and other handheld devices. By combining the reliability and flexibility of completely solid state sensing along with anthrotronic considerations, capacitive sensing interface technology creates new automotive design opportunities.
Consumers are increasingly turning to touch screen devices for their ease of use. Touch screens enable designers to dramatically improve the automotive interior for (1) user satisfaction (2) OEM cost benefits (3) important safety/ergonomic benefits and (4) styling design freedom to harmonize with interior themes. Panels will not only act on touch, but will have functions that respond to hand gestures and movements. For example, a center stack console can be enabled to illuminate when the user makes a movement near it, with the added benefit of conserving power. Interfacing to a vehicle by capacitive sensing creates entirely new opportunities in the evolution of automotive interior design. The styling design possibilities are nearly endless providing freedoms that are unachievable with conventional switches.
This paper describes the design and operation of various systems that employ capacitive sensing technology. Also discussed are vehicle integration, ergonomic enhancements, and safety benefits associated with this technology.