UltraSense Systems has agreed with South Korean supplier Mobase Electronics to supply chips for infotainment button bars.

Mobase would use the TouchPoint Q TapForce HMI controller in its solid surface button bars.

The chips use ultrasound waves to detect when a person has tapped on the solid surface.

The architecture uses a MEMS piezoelectric process “to etch four microscopic strain sensors into each controller”.

UltraSense claimed benefits include immunity to low and high temperature sensitivities, resilience against mechanical and aging stresses, instant robustness to capacitive touch systems and calibratable force thresholds.

According to Reuters, the chief business officer Daniel Goehl did not say which vehicles would adopt the new technology but they would appear in “high tier” models from Korean carmakers.

“The first car rolls off the production line in January and there’ll be three or four others throughout 2024,” he added.