Your future car infotainment system could take a page out of Apple’s iPhone playbook. Touch-interface company Synaptics unveiled its plans Monday to roll out a pressure-sensitive touchscreen with force feedback for vehicle manufacturers, similar to the 3D Touch screens found on the iPhone 6S, according to a company press release.
To facilitate the rollout, Synaptics has partnered with France-based automotive supplier Valeo. Instead of using Apple’s technology, Synaptics plans to use ClearForce, its own brand of pressure-sensitive display screens. By adding pressure-sensitivity to an infotainment touchscreen, Synaptics can enable new controls based on how hard a user is pressing on the screen — such as a context menu or quick shortcuts. Combined with force-feedback, Synaptics is aiming to make it easier for drivers to control their vehicle’s features with one or more fingers via touchscreen.
While it’s not known which car brands may feature Synaptics’ technology in the near future, its rollout comes at a time where car manufacturers are just starting to adopt support for Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto, vehicle features which allow iOS or Android users to plug in their device into their car and access music, messages, navigation and phone features right from a built-in vehicle touchscreen.
More than 100 car models support Carplay, including vehicles from Audi, Cadillac, Ferrari, Honda, Mitsubishi and more, according to Apple’s website. A number of car manufacturers are also expected to start supporting Android Auto, such as Hyundai, Volkswagen and Chevrolet.