Published: January 28, 2015 | Babenhausen/Germany
Continental is working on intelligent infrared technology for future control designs in affordable cars. Used in ever-more electronic entertainment devices, multi-touch controls will also be enhancing modern display and control systems in the especially price-sensitive car segment. With “infrared curtains,” Continental developers are opting for an economical alternative to touch sensitive, so called capacitive displays.
Used in ever-more electronic entertainment devices, multi-gesture recognition will enhance modern display and control systems in more and more vehicles.
The technology behind the curtain
Continental’s infrared curtain is built from an array of infrared light sources on the sides of the display. While a single row of LEDs was sufficient for one-finger operation, multi-touch gestures require two rows of infrared lights connected together. If a multi-touch gesture is performed in front of the display, the electronics of the human machine interface (HMI) recognize the finger’s positions from the blocked light. In addition to having a cheaper production format compared to capacitive displays that recognize gestures electronically, infrared curtains can also be operated with gloves on.
A single LED bar allows one-finger operation with the help of the infrared curtain.
With this technology, the HMI electronics recognize motions like swiping, zooming and pinching. This makes it easy to move around selection menus or change the chosen section on a map. The technology is ready for series production in 2017.