Ford Wants Your Car's Windows to Act As Advanced Microphones, Here's Why

Almost any carmaker that’s looking out to survive the imminent transition to a world filled with electric vehicles (EVs) is trying its best to implement as many new and attractive technologies as possible. Not because they’d like to turn into software developers and hardware specialists, but thanks to these cars not having many marketing points.
Tapping on a Car Window 6 photos
Photo: Discovery on YouTube
Car Windows as Microphones Detailed SketchTapping on a Car Window for AccessTapping on a Car Window for AccessTapping on a Car Window for AccessWindow Tint Comparisons
Tesla proved that EVs could succeed in a world filled with cars that run on the transformed remains of dead animals and plants. Every year, more and more people around the world experience an all-electric car and are almost immediately hooked. The instant torque is amazing, the silence brings a lot of tranquility, and some of the jurisdictional fiscal advantages can’t be ignored.

But how do you sell an EV to people that never looked at the newest technology or at waiting a couple of hours to charge on longer trips as something they’d like to have in their life? Well, enter the gimmicks. Almost anyone in this world would appreciate some bragging rights.

Ford wants to give you just that. The recently undisclosed United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) filing shows the American automaker wants car windows to be turned into microphones. More precisely, they want the glass to be hooked to a piezoelectric transducer that’s able to register vibrations and turn them into language for the computers.

With Ford’s new system, you’ll be able to tap on the glass or talk close to it for the car to allow you to access it with no keys, bracelets, or phone apps. It works like the touchpad we’ve already seen on older cars, but it is ten times more awesome.

The automaker says the car will be able to register a PIN-like vocal password, tap combinations, or even multiple codes available for a number of users that drive the same vehicle.

Ford didn’t think of this just now, as the filing shows it was done almost two years ago. The USPTO publishes the approvals with some secrecy to keep the patents from curious eyes.

More details about the new technology and other use cases can be found in the document attached down below.

We can’t wait to see it put into practice. In the end, it might prove to be a lot safer than having a conventional key or an app.
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Editor's note: Patents are not always a guarantee of production. Some images are for illustrative purposes only.

 Download: Ford's USPTO Filing (PDF)

About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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