The Touchskin interface has beeen on display since last October; now it's at a stage where Magna is shopping it to automakers. Although Magna is the marquee name, the various components that comprise Touchskin are produced by nine companies: Plastic Electronics, Engel Mould Technologies, Schöfer, Magna Exteriors and Interiors, Hueck, Niebling, Votteler, Hennecke Polyurethane and formquadrat.

It is exactly what it sounds like: instead of buttons and knobs populating the center tunnel space around the gearshift, there is a a perfectly smooth Clearmelt panel whose glossy surface heals itself of scratches and nicks. On either side of the shifter in the concept is the IDMP area, where your mobile phone rests. Without needing to be docked, the phone can connect with the car through Qi transmitters (common to phones as of this year) and be charged. The IDMP area and near-field Qi system is one of Magna's contributions and the company says it can't be hacked like Bluetooth or Internet protocols.

To the rear of the concept panel is the haptic interface, a protuberance that responds to numerous fingertip gestures to provide control of the car's various systems. It is made possible by the Touchskin film, produced in reel-to-reel fashion at a rate of 80 meters per minute, that can be molded to any shape and is wedded to the Clearmelt with copper foil.

There's a video just below to take you through the production process and how Touchskin works. It's unlikely the entire panel would make it into a new car, but we can certainly see it creeping, piece by glossy piece, into our Minority Report futures.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      Awhattup
      • 2 Years Ago
      knobs and buttons are cool!!! anyways... all I was thinking toward the end of the clip was that.... "nice figering"
      Fixitfixitstop
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like actual knobs, buttons, and switches.
      Iva Lithp
      • 2 Years Ago
      Some of those gestures are almost pornographic. Or maybe I'm just a perv.
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      For God's sake, don't replace my damn buttons and switches! I don't want to have to swipe a certain way to do something, I don't want to have technology that can suddenly malfunction on me at the most inappropriate times, and I don't want to have to look at the thing every time I do it. Also, in case anyone was curious about how this tech will work, look no further than Ford and their stupid MyFordTouch with its computerized everything its volume slider. That volume slider is the dumbest thing I've ever seen or touched and I will never but a car with it because I hate it so much... This sounds like nearly the same technology to me, except to replace everything else, and that's not a good thing. Good lord, between the NHTSA and the suppliers coming up with stupid ideas like these, there will come a time where I literally will not be able to force myself to buy a new vehicle...
      Andre Neves
      • 2 Years Ago
      Finally, women will feel right at home when in a car.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Ben Wojdyla
      • 2 Years Ago
      I was under the impression FMVSS rules surrounding shifter and safety interlock design require a mechanical device with a definite home and definite drive positions. This seems like a neat idea with no way to pass Federal certification.
        Ben Wojdyla
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ben Wojdyla
        (or just not used for gear shifters... Reading comprehension FTL)
      Greg
      • 2 Years Ago
      No way in hell would I ever buy a car with that