An in-car touch controller that can change shape to communicate with the driver intuitively, and guide the interaction almost subconsciously. This reduces information overload and lowers driver distraction by complementing vision and hearing based HMI channels.
For this project I worked on ideation, patenting, UX design, feedback methodologies and implementation mechanisms. I also led and directly managed the company that created the first official prototype and the company that created the official video.
This was a really interesting project with some deep HCI aspects such as the idea of "load balancing" the human senses. In the vehicle, the driver's visual channel is already occupied for the primary task of scanning the road and maintaining the vehicle direction and safety. That's the best and safest use for the driver's eyes.
The auditory channel is also often occupied by listening to music, podcasts or audiobooks, or in a conversation with a passenger. The auditory channel is also already utilized for emergency notifications from the vehicle therefore not the best channel to overcrowd.
The tactile sense however is often underutilized in the vehicle. Some modifications to the HMI interface can allow the Infotainment controller and the steering wheel to change shape, surface texture or stiffness in order to communicate the current menu position in the infotainment system, suggest the best interaction method with the current screen, orient the driver and provide feedbacks without using visual or auditory signals.
More details here