2021.11.19 GENESIS

Crystal Sphere: The Harmony of Technology and Emotion of the Genesis

The most striking thing in the cabin of the Genesis GV60 would be the Crystal Sphere; it communicates and interacts with passengers, and it symbolizes the luxury of the automaker.

The cabin of the Genesis GV60 creates a relaxed space and a luxurious atmosphere unique to Genesis based on ‘Beauty of White Space’. In particular, the cockpit of the GV60 is exquisitely balanced with a warm atmosphere that considers the driver and unique design elements. The most eye-catching among them is the Crystal Sphere. Crystal Sphere, a spherical electronic transmission, is a symbolic object of the GV60 interior and an emotional element that interacts with the driver.

Senior Researcher Ki-Young Song, Senior Researcher Yong-Wook Jeon, Manager Jong-Wha Park, and Researcher Ji-Hyeon Lee (from left) developed Crystal Sphere

The key to Crystal Sphere is that it functions as a beautiful crystal object, but turns into a shift dial when the driver starts the motor. Here's how Genesis's unique Crystal Sphere has come to life, housing not only practicality but also beauty. The developers - Senior Researcher Ki-Young Song of Driving Interface Design Team, Senior Researcher Pill-Yoon Kim of Genesis Design Room, Senior Researcher Yong-Wook Jeon of Product UX Development Team, Researcher Ji-Hyeon Lee of Driving Test Team, and Manager Jong-Wha Park of Quality/Structure Analysis Team 1 - explain more about the Crystal Sphere of the GV60.

The Crystal Sphere intuitively informs the driver whether the vehicle is ready to drive.

Q. Crystal Sphere catches your eyes as soon as you get in the vehicle. What motivated you to develop Crystal Sphere?

Senior Researcher Ki-Young Song | In internal combustion engines, the engine noise works as the cue to let the driver know if it is okay to floor the accelerator, but in the case of an electric vehicle, it gets a bit trickier to pick up the sound. This is why we developed Crystal Sphere to let the drivers know better, and at the same time, to interact and communicate with the driver through the shift dial.

When the driver enters the GV60 for the first time, the light on the spear located above the center console is turned on to welcome the driver, and when the driver is ready to floor the accelerator, the spear rotates and the shift dial emerges. Since the driver has to control the transmission, the presence of the shift dial intuitively lets the driver know when it's ready to drive; of course, the vehicle status can be easily recognized just with the sphere rotating.

Crystal Sphere was developed to provide an experience of interacting with the driver.

Q. The new shift dial seems to attract the driver even more; how did you develop Crystal Sphere.

Senior Researcher Ki-Young Song | When we first designed the concept, there was pressure since it was completely unprecedented. However, while deeply empathizing with the background of the proposal of the Genesis Design Team, and the direction of the Genesis brand design philosophy, we kept seeking a more practical way. Soon, all departments formed a consultative body and actively collaborated to create specific features and structures of Crystal Sphere. In the early stage of development, the designers have designed the rotational motion technology first, and then perfected the design while working with the performance through prototypes. Especially, its spherical dial and the real glass lamp would be the cherry top of Crystal Sphere.

The design of Crystal Sphere houses both luxury and a high-tech image.

Q. What are the design characteristics of Crystal Sphere, and what is the focus?

Senior Researcher Pill-Yoon Kim | Crystal Sphere is composed of a crystal part and a shift dial part while maintaining the round spherical look. Before starting the motor, the exquisitely crafted G-matrix pattern blends with the crystal lighting to create a luxurious atmosphere. Meanwhile, the dial transmission that appears when the driver starts the car houses mechanical modeling to create a high-tech image. In particular, the dial is focused on suggesting a high-performance electric car with metallic color for a sturdy look and sophisticated configuration. In addition, while maintaining the spherical shape, it has secured an optimized grip so that it can stick to the original function of being a dial shifter.

Senior Researcher Ki-Young Song | In terms of design, the shift dial had to deliver both the driver's feeling of operation and the design concept. In a hemispherical shape made of curved surfaces, the depth of the pattern and the distance from the surrounding parts were carefully designed so that the driver could operate comfortably without slipping.

If you look closely at the Crystal Sphere, you'll find the intricately crafted G-matrix pattern and shimmering lights.

In the case of sphere lighting, the prototype was developed through repeated lighting simulation and mock-up production to realize the design concept. In addition, the inside of the real glass was engraved with a laser to accurately implement the G-matrix pattern on the surface, and after numerous sampling and modifications, an optimized pattern was completed.

Q. The durability of the rotation function also seems to be important. How did the developers come up with the design to ensure durability?

Manager Jong-Wha Park | Durability was the most important part of the Crystal Sphere development process; This is because Crystal Sphere is not simply a decorative element, but has a transmission function that determines driving. Above all, we focused on securing the rotational durability of the crystal sphere. While analyzing various variables related to rotational durability, everything from the motor output to the material and specifications of the wire was thoroughly reviewed. In addition, sufficient durability was verified through cycle testing in high and low-temperature environments.

Researcher Ji-Hyun Lee | Since the Crystal Sphere is a part frequently operated by the driver, various scenarios were prepared and endurance tests were conducted; For example, the driver parks in a narrow space and presses the Crystal Sphere strongly while getting off the passenger seat. To prepare for such a case, the Crystal Sphere is designed to withstand a heavy load, and the adverse conditions were sufficiently simulated by actually pressing the crystal sphere strongly.

To develop Crystal Sphere that communicates with and responds to customers, it has gone through various collaborations.

Q. Does the Crystal Sphere react differently to the driver's situation?

Senior Researcher Ki-Young Song | This is how the Crystal Sphere works basically; When the vehicle is ready-to-drive, it becomes a shift dial, and when it cannot move, it becomes a crystal sphere. However, in the case of domestic models, it has a park neutral switch feature (P→N PARK), in this case, the crystal sphere rotates and the shift dial appears. This is to switch from the neutral state to the parking (P). In addition, when the driver operates the reverse (R) gear, the dial shifter vibrates to notify that the vehicle's direction has changed. This is an added function for accident prevention and safety, and the same vibration is generated even if the shift dial is operated again in the R direction in reverse gear.

Senior Researcher Yong-Wook Jeon | Crystal Sphere has two more functions besides its function as a dial shifter. One is the aforementioned safety function, and the other is aesthetics. The inside of the Crystal Sphere is beautifully lit. This light is dimly lit when the driver opens the door to welcome the driver. In addition, it is linked with the face connect and digital key applied to the GV60 to deliver emotional charm with indoor mood lighting and beautiful color lighting. In addition, when entering into reverse (R) gear, the lighting color is changed to red to inform the vehicle's direction of travel.

Crystal Sphere was thoroughly developed so that the users can use it conveniently.

Q. What was the most difficult part of developing Crystal Sphere?

Senior Researcher Ki-Young Song | The most agonizing part was how convenient it would be for drivers to enjoy the new technology - from an engineer's point of view, new technology can be novel and innovative, but users may find it inconvenient or unnecessary. Therefore, the convenience of Crystal Sphere is considered as the top priority, and continuous quality improvement has been made to ensure safe and excellent performance in preparation for various emergency scenarios.

GV60's dial shifter completed through various durability verifications and tests

Manager Jong-Wha Park | As the GV60 is Genesis' first dedicated electric vehicle, it focused on improving perfection by focusing on luxury and performance. Due to the characteristics of the Crystal Sphere, the quality level of the driving parts was closely inspected, and various tests were continued even after the vehicle is manufactured. There are a few memorable episodes during the test evaluation process. Because of the nature of the location, Crystal Sphere is designed so that various other substances can be naturally passed through to the floor of the cabin. To test this, we used a wide variety of liquids, including cola, hot coffee, ketchup, yogurt, and honey.

Crystal Sphere has prepared countermeasures so that there is no disruption to vehicle operation in case of emergency.

Q. What should we do when the Crystal Sphere does not rotate because of other things stuck in?

Manager Jong-Wha Park | Since Crystal Sphere determines the driving, countermeasures are also prepared in case of malfunction. If the Crystal Sphere does not rotate due to other substances stuck in, it detects this and increases the motor output and retry rotation twice. At this time, the display guides the driver to clean the dial shifter, and if the disturbance persists, the controller stops to protect the rotating mechanism and initializes the system restart function. Also, in case of emergency, the Crystal Sphere can be rotated manually so that it doesn't disturb the driving.

The Crystal Sphere is precisely aligned with the sensor and also has a position adjustment function.

Q. How does it react when the Crystal Sphere is not aligned?

Senior Researcher Ki-Young Song | The rotational position of the Crystal Sphere is precisely detected by means of a sensor configured on the shaft. The rotating mechanism drives the motor until it reaches the target point, and a fixing device is provided to prevent rotation beyond the point. In addition, the rotation mechanism limits the reverse rotation through a power transmission mechanism such as a worm gear and a worm wheel. It is designed to accurately align the position of the rotating structure by detecting the position of the sphere in real-time to prevent any impact after rotation, and finely control the rotation speed of the motor.

Researchers from various fields such as design, design, testing, UX, and quality control have worked together to perfect Crystal Sphere.

Q. Lastly, as a developer of Crystal Sphere, is there anything you would like to appeal to customers the most?

Senior Researcher Yong-Wook Jeon | Although all automobile technologies require a lot of devotion and effort in the development process, Crystal Sphere is a technology that is directly related to customer safety, so it has been painstakingly completed in various fields ranging from design, design, and evaluation. In particular, the appearance of the crystal sphere shining brightly in a dark interior is a representative attractive point of the GV60 that reflects the design philosophy of Genesis and excellent emotional quality. We hope that all customers can experience the charm of Genesis' first dedicated electric vehicle through Crystal Sphere.

Through the Crystal Sphere applied to the GV60, you can experience the unique value offered by the Genesis brand.

Researcher Ji-Hyeon Lee | One characteristic of Crystal Sphere is that it communicates closely with the driver. It greets you with soft light once you get in the car, and when you start the car, the shift dial appears to inform you that you are ready to go on a journey. When you turn off the car after reaching your destination, it switches back to the Crystal Sphere and emits a brilliant light to give warm support for the rest of the passengers' journey. This means that Crystal Sphere is not just a new technology, but a new experience that approaches the passengers emotionally. I hope GV60 makes you feel the new value that Genesis is proposing.

Photography by Dai-Il Choi

HMG Journal Operation Team


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