Large touchscreen infotainment systems have become an important feature in modern cars, but they can also be a huge distraction for drivers. Synaptics thinks it would help if you could "feel" the screen, so it teamed with auto accessory supplier Valeo to create a new type of automotive display. It will be equipped with the company’s ClearForce tech that provides force sensing and haptic feedback. The idea is to provide a safer interface that supports single finger, multi- and variable haptic touch, so that drivers or passengers can use the interface without looking at it.
There’s no word of which manufacturers and automakers will be using the screens, or when new devices will come out. On smartphones like the iPhone 6s, force touch screens are particularly handy for features like scrolling, and can be used as a quasi right-click to bring up menus or additional information. Haptic feedback, meanwhile, could signal to drivers that songs or GPS directions have started and keep (most of) your attention outside of the vehicle. For more on Synaptics’ force tech, check out its video from last year.