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      The Crystal Center Display

      A New Elegance in the Vehicle: Display Embedded in Transparent Swarovski Crystal

      Futuristic displays in the vehicle interior are being transformed into digital control and information centers. To date, the main focus of developments has been on functionality. Now, Continental and Swarovski Mobility are bringing an added touch of luxury to vehicles. The Crystal Center Display, which is fully embedded in a crystal housing, opens up entirely new possibilities for luxurious interior trims in premium vehicles thanks to its frameless and semi-transparent appearance.

      Las Vegas is rightly considered one of the most glamorous major cities in the world. One giant hotel made of glass and steel after the other can be found in this city in the desert. With its casinos, theme parks, shows and experience restaurants Las Vegas sparkles and shimmers.


      At the world’s leading electronics trade fair, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES for short), which marks the start of each new technology year, there is a dazzling array of lights and displays – and this was particularly evident at CES 2024: at the most recent trade fair in the US state of Nevada, Continental presented the Crystal Center Display. This is the world’s first automotive display for premium vehicles to be fully embedded in a crystal housing. With its frameless and semi-transparent look, the ten-inch display opens up entirely new possibilities for minimalist luxury interiors – and literally outshines everything that has come before it in terms of brightness and contrast value.

      The content being displayed gives the impression that it is floating in the crystal itself

      The image-generating microLED panel is embedded in an artfully cut crystal body. The display gives the impression that the content being displayed is floating freely in the crystal. The combination of automotive display and crystal was developed by Continental in collaboration with the Austrian company Swarovski Mobility. For this solution, Continental was recognized at the trade fair as a “CES Innovation Award Honoree” for outstanding product design.

      With the Crystal Center Display as a central element, we want to deliberately set ourselves apart from interior design that we have known up until now. We are moving away from simply displaying information and elevating this so that it becomes a highly personalized user experience.
      Dr. Boris Mergell
      Head of the User Experience (UX) business area at Continental

      From simply providing information to a highly personalized user experience

      Luxurious, yet minimalist and able to awaken emotions: this is a trend in displays for premium vehicles. It is no longer just about showing drivers the correct route or providing information about the vehicle’s condition on the screen. Modern and, above all, future displays must be able to do more: as a central element in the vehicle cockpit, the display is at the heart of the operating concept and information playback. The interaction between human and vehicle – known as the human-machine interface – thus becomes the core element of an emotionalized brand experience. “This makes our crystal much more than just a visual design element in the vehicle’s interior. Users experience it as a central interaction surface in the vehicle,” explains Peter Widmann, senior vice president B2B and managing director of Swarovski Mobility.


      The interior of the car becomes as comfortable as a living room

      The rapidly increasing significance of the interior when it comes to purchasing decisions and the future of the premium class had already been predicted by management consultants McKinsey in a study published in September 2021. This states: “Engine performance, body design, acceleration – until now, these have been the decisive factors for many customers in the automotive world. But customer expectations have changed: for many, the car is becoming a ‘living room on wheels.’” The study*continues:The design of the interior, connectivity features and comfort are becoming more important factors for purchasing decisions. While 50 percent of customers find the interior very important, 71 percent of industry decision-makers state that the interior will continue to grow in importance.” For the study, the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility and the Fraunhofer IAO examined more than 50 interiors of current vehicles as well as concept studies. Sixty interviews were also conducted, and three surveys carried out, among more than 13,000 car buyers in total.

      * Title of the study: The future of interior in the automotive industry – understanding and preparing for cabin experience as a new opportunity for differentiation

      The vehicle interior of the future is a living room and control center in one – and the display becomes the central element here for information and decisions. In view of the large number of new potential applications, particularly in the high-end car segment, the engineers at Continental have long been aware that conventional display and operating systems in the vehicle cockpit are reaching their limits. Fully connected and increasingly automated vehicles require a new generation of display options. The displays of the future offer a new level of comfort and safety in the car. With the Curved In2visible Display and the new Crystal Center Display – which were also on show at the CES – technology company Continental is clearly setting the course for the premium sector. 

      Las Vegas has always been an excellent place at which to showcase display innovations from Continental: At last year’s CES 2023, Continental presented the Curved Ultrawide Display. “Ultrawide” refers here to a width of 1.29 meters, which curves from one A-pillar to the other. The 47.5-inch TFT display is illuminated by more than 3,000 LEDs on a 7,680 by 660 pixel active area. The Curved Ultrawide Display from Continental extends across the entire width of the cockpit and creates a new level of user experience with its avant-garde display design.

      The innovative operating concept, based around the invisible control panel, ensures a greater level of safety and comfort. Volume production of the Curved Ultrawide Display is planned for 2025.


      Continental’s display solutions have won numerous awards. Here are just a few examples:

      Continental at CES 2024:

      Innovative Mobility from the Road to the Cloud

      At the most recent “Consumer Electronics Show,” held in Las Vegas at the beginning of January 2024, Continental presented the Crystal Center Display as well as further highlights and milestones for modern mobility. This also includes the following product in the area of interiors and displays:

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      Published: February 2024