This isn't the first time that we've reported about Finland's Canatu. The tech company, which is a leading developer and manufacturer of 3D formable and stretchable films, touch sensors, and heating solutions, has brought us the heated headlight system earlier this month.

Apart from that future safety feature, Canatu teams up with TS Tech, a Japanese supplier of automotive interiors and automobile/motorcycle seats, to bring us another technological innovation that could employ both functionality and aesthetic upgrade to future cars.

Gallery: Canatu And TS Tech's Next-Generation Touch Switches

Introducing, 3D touch switches for in-vehicle applications. Now on its demonstrator stage, the two companies developed progressive human-machine interfaces (HMIs) for upcoming autonomous vehicles.

The rationale is simple: in future level 3 cars, the two companies assume that drivers will take a relaxed posture (leaned back) to maximize comfort. However, in this position, the central dashboard will be out of reach. This warrants a new position for HMIs and the companies believe that the door handles would be a perfect place for the touch controls.

With TS Tech’s decorative door trim technology and Canatu’s unique, bendable, and transparent Carbon NanoBud (CNB) film, incorporating touch switches onto the door grips is possible, bringing forth intuitive user experience and beautiful design.

Canatu believes that with its CNB, every surface within a vehicle can be integrated with 3D touch switches, while TS Tech will execute the design beautifully. You may watch how the system works on the video atop this page, which involves seat adjustments embedded onto the door handles. These touch switches feature lighting which remains discreetly hidden until the switches are activated.

The new tech system sounds promising, but then again, we need to see more cars with level 3 automation before we see it in use. The future looks bright and seamless, nevertheless.

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