IAA Summit 2023: LEONHARD KURZ presents pioneering steering wheel with operable crystals from Swarovski

Fürth/Germany, August 30, 2023: The IAA Summit 2023 from September 5 to 8 is part of IAA MOBILITY, and is one of the most renowned international B2B events for the automotive industry. As a platform for groundbreaking technologies, concepts, and solutions for the mobility of the future, the IAA Summit brings together leading automobile manufacturers, suppliers, and technology companies.

LEONHARD KURZ is actively shaping these trends and will be presenting numerous highlights from the areas of Exterior Design, Interior Design, Visionary Design, and Sustainability at its stand. Using real exhibits coupled with multimedia presentations and interactive features, visitors to stand C32 in hall A2 can experience up close innovative components as well as lighting and operating concepts for the vehicles of tomorrow.

Due to ongoing trends such as electromobility and autonomous driving, the fusion of smart technology with elegant design is in increasing demand. Decorative surfaces give the interior its very own character and can be equipped with smart functions that only become apparent at second glance. KURZ recognized this development at an early stage and offers its customers well thought-out, holistic solutions that fully meet the new requirements. Under the term ‘Crystal Design Luxury,’ the thin-film specialist presented a Human-Machine Interface (HMI) panel for vehicle dashboards at CES 2022 at the start of the year, which was developed in cooperation with Swarovski Mobility. At the IAA Summit 2023, another result of the successful cooperation between the two experts will be presented, namely an innovative steering wheel design concept.


Crystal Steering Wheel: Merging design and functionality

Just like the HMI panel, the futuristic steering wheel with integrated real crystals from Swarovski also attracts everyone’s attention. The backlit solid-cut crystals are manufactured in Austria and achieve an incomparable depth effect thanks to their precise cut. They can be color-coordinated with the interior of the vehicle and create breathtaking visual highlights. “With this concept, we clearly show that design and decoration don’t have to be limited to the usual suspects, i.e., to elements such as trims or dashboard surfaces. In combination with the Swarovski crystals, the steering wheel lends the interior an air of elegance and exclusivity. On the other hand, the futuristic design with light colors and transparent surfaces creates a whole new sense of lightness - a trend for vehicle interiors that will become even more popular in the coming years," emphasizes Jörg Stierand, LEONHARD KURZ Head of Divisional Sales Management Automotive, and adds: “Together with the invisible touch control and the option of equipping the steering wheel display with an antiviral and antibacterial surface, a well thought-out overall concept is created in which design and functionality merge.”

Six Swarovski crystals are integrated in the Crystal Steering Wheel - three each to the left and right next to the centrally mounted display. Thanks to ultra-thin, highly transparent sensor technology from KURZ subsidiary PolyIC, including backlighting, they only reveal their smart functionality when they are approached or touched by the user. Its surface is fully transparent, scratch-resistant, and easy to clean, despite the built-in sensors. “The steering wheel is another milestone in the successful cooperation between LEONHARD KURZ and Swarovski Mobility. After the successful introduction of crystal elements in the automotive luxury segment, we are looking at further possibilities to implement innovations together as we continue with our creative collaboration,” explains Peter Widmann, Senior Vice President & Managing Director Swarovski Mobility, and continues: “Our specially prepared crystals transform a previously purely functional element - the steering wheel - into a special highlight that enhances the vehicle interior with a touch of luxury.”


PolyTC®: Ultra-thin sensors from PolyIC

Trouble-free touch operation is made possible by a special treatment of the Swarovski crystals that equips them with conductive properties using sensors from PolyIC. “The capacitive sensors are characterized by their high transparency. Although they consist of wafer-thin metal mesh silver structures, they are particularly sturdy and flexible to adapt to a wide range of component geometries,” explains KURZ’s Jörg Stierand, and adds: “In addition, they are ideally suited for implementing automotive trends - such as surfaces that only come to life when approached or touched.”

Interested parties can find more information about KURZ’s trade fair presentation and solutions on the IAA Summit website.


At a glance

IAA Summit 2023 in Munich from September 5 to 8, 2023
LEONHARD KURZ Stiftung & Co. KG: Hall A2, Stand C32
Our trade fair presentation focuses on Exterior Design, Interior Design, Visionary Design, Sustainability

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