Touch Me! You Are Such A Turn-On!

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
“With a languid stroke, her lascivious fingers caressed the seat. Out of nowhere, Chopin’s Nocturnes engulfed Rudolfo’s vintage Testatrossa in a sea of glissandi. Soon, Rudolfo’s testosterone was on full volume. He opened the first button of her blouse, there was a pop, then – silence.”

If Maksim Skorobogatiy of the Polytechnic School in Montreal, Canada, gets his way, then this is how future novels will be written. Or car catalogs. Skorobogatiy suggests:

“In essence we are trying to reproduce the smartphone experience in textile form. We are looking for applications where we can weave in sleek, non-invasive control, avoiding blocks of push buttons.”

The Canadian researchers created a soft polymer-based fiber, or make that fibre, which has electrical properties that change depending on where it is touched. The fiber can be woven into any fabric. That way, it can turn a car seat, or the lady’s blouse (“it`s getting hot, mind if I turn this down a bit … there you go”) into a touch screen. There already may be a customer.

“Touch-sensitive surfaces are a very interesting technology for controlling operations in a car.

So said BMW spokeswoman Melina Aulinger to the New Scientist, which opines that “it might not be long before something similar is seen in our cars.”

Totally overlooked, a recent BMW concept car that appeared in March at the Geneva Motor Show, was operated via a touch-sensitive surface, heating and music were controlled by the driver’s gestures, Aulinger told the New Scientist.

It’s probably all a conspiracy to wean us away from leather and make us buy chintzy fabric seats that interface with our iPod.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

More by Bertel Schmitt

Join the conversation
6 of 26 comments
  • Ajla Ajla on Jan 31, 2012
    "He opened the first button of her blouse, there was a pop - then silence." Reminds me of being 17. And last week...
    • Croatoan Croatoan on Jan 31, 2012

      ". . . there was a pop" And that's the problem with blowup dolls :)

  • ZoomZoom ZoomZoom on Jan 31, 2012

    This was the only article I clicked on today. When time is at a premium, I have to decide if an article will be worth waiting for all the ads to load. There, I said it. Again.

  • Felis Concolor Felis Concolor on Feb 01, 2012

    Great photo. I can't get the UFO theme out of my head now.

  • Junebug Junebug on Feb 01, 2012

    I detail cars on the side - weekend work. I sometimes have to go to the customer's house, pick up the POS - I mean car, drive it home, sanitize it and return to the scene of the grime. There are definitely some cars/trucks that make the friggin controls easy and others are in Egyptian pictograghs! Hey car makers, ever hear of KISS? No dummy, not Gene and the boys.