Neonode Inc., the optical-touch technology licensing company, announced that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has recently issued Neonode patent #8,775,023 ('023) for Light-Based Touch Controls on a Steering Wheel and Dashboard.
The '023 patent covers controlling in-car entertainment and navigation systems via hand gestures performed on a touch-sensitive steering wheel. This patent expands Neonode's family of sweep gesture patents, which include US Patent Nos. 8,095,879 and 8,650,510. This is Neonode's 17th issued US patent and its 42nd issued patent worldwide.
Neonode's groundbreaking and patented "steering wheel" technology allows for innovative and cost-efficient interior design, while improving usability and safety. Moreover, this smart steering wheel solution enables auto OEMs to substantially simplify interior design, while lowering system costs. Automobile manufacturers are increasingly focused on improving driver ergonomics and safety, and thus, are migrating interior controls from the center console to the steering wheel.
Neonode's new steering wheel patent leverages zForce™AIR™ (AIR) solutions, which enable open-air gestures on a steering wheel, or any other device. Neonode's AIR sensor is a modular bar that can be integrated into, or onto, any device, and projects an infrared light field onto any desired touch area. The result is remarkable flexibility in industrial design, and differentiated leading edge functionality.
"The automotive sector response to Neonode's steering wheel has been overwhelming, with numerous projects underway. We believe our AIR technology is so unique and disruptive, that it will deliver greater safety options for drivers, and make driving far more enjoyable," said Thomas Eriksson, CEO of Neonode Inc.
Neonode works with module makers so that a standardized module can be delivered to the OEM. It is anticipated that this new technology will be seen in production car models during 2016.
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