Touch and is definitely making its way much deeper into cars. Car and Driver spotted two trademarks submitted by Toyota that hint toward touch-sensitive panels as well as inductive charging features.
Intellitouch is described as “electronic touch sensitive controllers, sold as an integral part of motor vehicles; electronic touch sensitive panels, sold as an integral part of motor vehicles.” It is rather unlikely that this trademark refers to a new navigation screen. This sounds much more like other types of panels on the dash, doors or even on the outside of cars. Could doors and the trunk be opened via touch? Probably. Chevrolet has a touch solution for the dash in its Volt electric vehicle, by the way.
Another trademark is Ebin, which is described as “Storage containers for handheld electronic devices, sold as an integral part of motor vehicles; storage containers with built in inductive battery charges for handheld electronic devices, sold as an integral part of motor vehicles.” We are not quite sure how such containers could look like and where they could be located, even if we know that advances in miniaturization and digitization of many features that used to clutter the dash are being integrated into complex infotainment systems is freeing up lots of space in dashboards and could make room for such "containers".
Wireless charging of electronic devices is badly needed - and not just in minivans where even four power plugs are not enough on lengthy vacation trips.