High-quality crystals merge with noble surfaces and smart sensor technology to form a futuristic component: LEONHARD KURZ and Swarovski implemented an impressive project for automotive interior design that adds a touch of luxury to high-end vehicles.
The mobility of the future is sustainable, smart, and defined by connected vehicles that bring design and functionality together. Influential trends such as electromobility and autonomous driving will play a decisive role in the coming years and therefore shape vehicle interiors. In a self-driving car, the cockpit becomes a second living room, and the design gains enormous importance. A unique, customizable look will thus be just as crucial as intelligent functionalities. At CES 2022, KURZ and Swarovski Mobility demonstrated how corresponding innovative concepts could look according to the latest technology standards with their Smart Crystal Panel.
The two companies have joined forces and, together with KURZ subsidiaries BURG Design and PolyIC, designed a pioneering human-machine interface (HMI) panel for the interior of the future. The component impresses with a unique refinement: Precisely cut Swarovski crystals are integrated into the surface and impress at first glance with their depth effect and multiple reflections. Backlighting creates a unique ambiance in the cockpit.
But the real highlight is only revealed at a second glance. The precious crystals appear mirrored initially, but they are more than just a decorative detail. Thanks to a special pre-treatment and integrated sensor technology from KURZ subsidiary PolyIC, they can be operated by touch. Thanks to the Shy-Tech functionality, the integrated icons only become visible when approached.
“Crystals from Swarovski are not only well-designed and decorative elements. They can also be integrated as functional components. In this way, we are already setting the course today for the successful implementation of tomorrow’s automotive trends.”
The fusion of design and functionality is characteristic not only for the crystals but also the entire innovative component: Ultra-thin, recyclable touch sensors from PolyIC can be integrated into the surface. In addition to that, the HMI concept demonstrates the wide range of possible design variations. Day-night designs, metallization, and carbon looks can be implemented thanks to the combination of gravure and screen printing.
For CES 2022, the expert in decorative and functional surfaces produced three demonstrators that inspire with individual highlights. While the Dark Mode focuses on sporty design and crystals in a smoked glass look, the Lounge Mode shines with subtle copper and shimmering gold effects. The Light Mode, on the other hand, impresses with its elegance and sets brilliant accents in bright shades.
The HMI panel by KURZ and Swarovski Mobility excites even the critics. It was awarded the ‘Special Mention’ in the category ‘Mobility & Innovation – Smart & Digital’ at this year’s edition of the renowned Automotive Brand Contest.
“The HMI panel in day-night design only reveals its secrets on closer inspection and always creates wow effects. With this, we have developed a concept that meets all future requirements and even exceeds them.”
The KURZ Group and Swarovski Mobility intend to continue using their united innovative power to develop sophisticated concepts for the mobility of tomorrow. They presented a second partner project at K 2022: a futuristic steering wheel design project with touch control via crystal clear, transparent control surfaces. For more information, visit the K 2022 theme page.
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