February 2013 marked the start of Light.Touch.Matters, in which designers and material researchers joined forces to develop a completely new generation of smart materials that can sense touch and respond with luminescence.
The base technologies are novel piezo plastics and flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Being thin, flexible and formable, these ‘light touch materials’ promise to revolutionize product design by integrating luminescence and touch in such a way that eventually the product becomes the interface.
During the project, various technology demonstrators will be developed to show the potential of these novel interface technologies, principally within the domain of care and wellbeing, although opportunities for spin-off to other domains (e.g. automotive) will also be addressed. Light.Touch.Matters is a unique cooperation between product designers and material scientists, with 17 partners from 9 EU countries. It is funded through a grant in the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme.