Electronics and Semiconductors

Enabling haptic feedback in vehicle human-machine interfaces at CES 2020

07 January 2020

Boréas Technologies has demonstrated at CES 2020 a low-power, high-voltage piezoelectric driver IC designed to bring haptic feedback to interfaces in automotive vehicles.

Haptic feedback relates to bringing a sense of touch to objects or electronics in order to generate a human response from users. This type of technology is being experimented with in a wide range of fields including healthcare, smartphones, smart gloves, virtual reality, entertainment and much more.

The BOS1211 supports the TDK Electronics’ family of 120 V piezo actuators for clear tactile feedback in automotive segments such as automotive infotainment screens and safety alerts in touch-sensitive steering wheels.

“Haptic feedback is as old as the human experience, which is why we find it so satisfying to know that an object responds to our touch,” said Simon Chaput, founder and CEO of Boréas Technologies. “The advent of the digital world has increased our need for haptic feedback, and that’s why we’re seeing multiple Tier 1 automotive manufacturers replacing buttons and touchpads with haptic-feedback touchscreens as well as top automotive suppliers embedding haptics into their new display products.”

According to IHS Markit’s Center Stack Display Production Forecast, more than 52.8 million automotive touch panels will be on the market in 2020 with annual growth expected at 4.6%, meaning touchscreens are growing as a standard item in vehicles.

Boréas said that more drivers are simultaneously using voice commands for phone calls, to send texts and receive navigation instructions. Hands-free human-machine interfaces (HMIs) could be the next feasible option with haptic feedback being deployed on a vehicle’s steering wheel for auditory feedback or in-car navigation.

The company points to a study by the U.S. Air Force and Arizona State University that found drivers responded more effectively to tactile warnings delivered via the gas pedal or the seat than to visual or auditory warnings when alerted to rear-end collisions.

At CES 2020, taking place Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas, Boréas will demonstrate its BOS1211 IC in automotive applications inside the TDK booth.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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