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Smart Touch® Sensing: Revolutionizing Human-Computer Interaction

Smart Touch® sensing marks a significant advancement in human interface technology, granting users direct access to computational capabilities. This breakthrough, reminiscent of the revolutionary iPhone™ and other handheld devices, merges solid-state sensing with anthropometric considerations, opening up unprecedented avenues for innovation among automotive designers.

Enhancing Automotive Interior Design

In an era where consumers increasingly rely on touch screen devices, automotive designers are keen to harness this trend to enhance user satisfaction, reduce OEM costs, ensure safety, and enable ergonomic benefits. Through its capacitive sensing interface technology, iQ Power™ Systems is addressing these imperatives, ushering in a new era of automotive interior design.


Figure 1

Capacitive Sensing Technology: Design and Operation

Unlike conventional switches, capacitive sensors operate without the need for physical force. Leveraging materials such as indium oxides or conductive polymers, these sensors can be fashioned into transparent films, seamlessly integrating into various automotive components without compromising aesthetics.

Versatile Touch Surfaces

Capacitive sensors possess the remarkable ability to sense through thick materials, facilitating integration into unconventional locations like trim panels and moldings. Their flexibility allows them to conform to complex contours and shapes, providing virtually limitless functional sensing geometries. Matrix configurations further enhance their versatility, translating touch coordinates into discernible user commands.

Innovative Display Integration

Through rear-projection technology, light is directed through capacitive sensors, projecting images onto substrates. Activation of sensors triggers alterations in the projected image, providing users with visual feedback. Despite the complexity of surface shapes, rear-projection ensures sharp image display, enhancing user experience.

Application and Future Vision

Picture a vehicle interface system where display gages and indicators can be tailored around the Instrument Panel or Center Stack Console (CSC). Capacitive sensors enable gesture-based commands, enriching user interaction. By eliminating physical switches, this technology reduces clutter and enhances ergonomic design.

Figure 4 shows the application of capacitive sensors in a center stack console integrated with conventional switches. The backlit blue text locations are capacitive touch sensors.

Automotive interior design – Smart Touch® is the Future!

Smart Touch® sensing and capacitive interface technology represent the future of automotive interior design. By seamlessly integrating computational prowess with human touch, iQ Power™ Systems is pioneering intuitive and ergonomic vehicle interfaces, setting new benchmarks for user experience and design aesthetics. As the automotive industry embraces the information age, capacitive sensing stands at the forefront of innovation, reshaping vehicles for tomorrow’s world. With ongoing advancements and integration, capacitive sensing promises to revolutionize automotive interiors, delivering safer, more efficient, and aesthetically pleasing vehicles for generations to come.


1 Capacitive sensing – Nartron Patents 4,731,548 4,758,735 4,831,279 5,087,825 5,369,375 5,730,165 5,796,183 6,377,009

2 Providing an Edge in Capacitive Sensor Applications Conor Power and Garry O’Niell,, Analog Devices, Inc.

3 Capacitive Touch Sensors Gain Fans David Marsh, Electronics Design, Strategy, News (EDN)

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