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      01-25-2012, 11:04 AM   #1
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Post BMW to Utilize Touch Sensitive Smart Fabric In Future Cars

BMW to Utilize Touch Sensitive Smart Fabric In Future Models
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BMW already has plans to install touchscreen fabric in future models, according to New Scientist.

Researchers at the Polytechnic School in Montreal have developed a flexible polymer-based fiber with electrical properties that can be woven into existing fabrics. Imagine all the creative ways this would allow BMW to elegantly replace physical buttons or controls for a more minimalist look to the interior.

"In essence we are trying to reproduce the smartphone experience in textile form,” says researcher Maksim Skorobogatiy of the Polytechnic School in Montreal, Canada.

"We are looking for applications where we can weave in sleek, non-invasive control, avoiding blocks of push buttons.

The electrical properties change depending on where the fabric is touched, and finger touches or slides on different areas can be programmed to control air-conditioning or change the volume of the stereo, explained Skorobogatiy in the article.

The article confirms that BMW has plans to install the touch-sensitive smart fabric in future models, along with General Motors and aircraft-manufacturer Bombardier.

This should come as no surprise however, as BMW has already previewed touch sensitive technology in a recent concept car - the Vision ConnectedDrive concept at the 2011 Geneva auto show, with its touch sensitive dashboard. For example, the heating and music controls were operated by the driver's gestures over the dashboard surface.

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      01-25-2012, 11:17 AM   #2
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Wow, can't wait to see this happen
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      01-25-2012, 11:20 AM   #3
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      01-25-2012, 11:22 AM   #4
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Very neat!
And once again another innovation from Quebec Good job!
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      01-25-2012, 11:25 AM   #5
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ooooooooooooh future stuff!!

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      01-25-2012, 11:30 AM   #6
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Works with gloves, I assume? Looks cool streamlined, but wondering how this will enhance driving excitement / safety / concentration. Basically, I'm hoping that they're not exchanging buttons and knobs (which are intuitive to push and adjust without looking once you learn them) for something like fabric iPhone interface which requires the driver's visual attention to interact. ie: you could text on a buttoned phone by feel and without looking once you learned the layout. You cannot do this by feel on an touchscreen surface. Likewise, I fear you may not be able to feel around for certain controls that are reduced to a touch sensitive surface.

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      01-25-2012, 11:33 AM   #7
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Can't wait to get this car
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      01-25-2012, 11:48 AM   #8
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Damn that sounds pretty slick. I imagine it would be more cost effective and mechanically simpler than standard buttons too.
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      01-25-2012, 12:43 PM   #9
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warranty is going to definitely come in handy for this car...lol
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      01-25-2012, 12:54 PM   #10
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That sounds awesome!
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      01-25-2012, 07:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by numba1guju View Post
warranty is going to definitely come in handy for this car...lol

..I can see it now... " you too? I've replaced 6 FabricE panels just this year on my i9... every time I cant use my FabrActivE-iDrivE blah blah... "

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      01-25-2012, 08:03 PM   #12
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No Doubt!

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Can't wait to get this car
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      01-26-2012, 01:24 AM   #13
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The lack of physical hard buttons worry me.... While the concept is brilliant, and while it is nice to replace a few controls with it, I have this feeling that BMW is going to go overboard with this and replace virtually every button with this... I would not want to imagine how the buttons would act up during electrical problems. Also, the system would have to be able to operate properly with moist/wet fingers. Meh, I am a little iffy about this technology right now... I would love to see how "developed" this technology is.
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      01-26-2012, 08:27 AM   #14
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this is amazing, but i wonder how hard it will be to fix/ the durability of it... hope you dont need an electrical engineer degreee to fix it
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      01-26-2012, 02:24 PM   #15
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So if I fart, then it'll turn on the seat heaters?

God, the cars are getting ridiculously complex. Not sure if I want to own a car with 3 turbos, 2 intercoolers, automatic transmission, touch screen, touch fabric etc etc...
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