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Sunday, August 30, 2015

You Could Soon Be Using Android Auto On A Curved Touchscreen Thanks To Panasonic

Televisions, digital cameras, home entertainment and soon in-dash car infotainment systems... That's the route Panasonic plans to take in the coming months. And to take it a step further, their in-car infotainment system might well feature a curved, high-resolution, capacitive touchscreen.

The Japanese manufacturer has had a long history of quality products. Their Plasma televisions were the best in their class for the longest time while their Lumix cameras hold their own among the competition. And back at CES 2015, they announced plans of venturing into the car infotainment business.

The company showcased Android Auto in a car dashboard at CES but said it won't make a head unit to sell in the aftermarket. Instead it would be partnering with automakers to bring Google's latest technology to car dashboards via OEM systems.

And now Panasonic is about to order mass production of state-of-the-art, highly sensitive curved touch panels that will work even when operated with gloves on. In a press release a few days back, they've provided additional details of the product...

1. The curved touch panel in which a plastic cover panel and highly sensitive film sensors are integrated can enhance the design flexibility of vehicle cockpits.

- The capability of accommodating openings in which input switches can be easily mounted will contribute to the simplification of the customer's design.

2. The highly sensitive film sensors allow for operations while wearing gloves, and multi-touch operations, contributing to the enhancement of the operability.

3. High visibility and reliability suitable for automotive use have been achieved.

In recent times, Samsung has famously introduced curved touchscreens in their Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone. Curved televisions are also available these days. And by using capacitive touchscreens (similar to the ones in today's smartphones and tablets), Panasonic has ensured a highly-responsive interface compared to resistive displays. Mass production is expected to begin in September.

There is no information available at the moment regarding which car manufacturers are involved in the collaboration that will bring Android Auto to OEM dashboard systems from Panasonic. However, Panasonic is a member of the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) which was announced by Google at their I/O keynote in 2014.

Source: Panasonic

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