In-car interfaces


Touchscreens are appearing everywhere, and it was inevitable that car manufacturer’s would want to include them (Tesla wasted no time), but there’s an immediate disadvantage with touch screens – there’s no physical feedback to help use the controls. If I’m driving along and want to change the volume on the radio, I can reach across and my fingers can easily find the volume control without taking my eyes off the road. With a flat touchscreen, that is no longer the case, and I’d have to look over to see where the control was.

This idea attempts to remove that problem by moving the controls to where-ever your hand is; touch anywhere on the screen, and the controls will centre themselves underneath your fingers so you can immediately interact with it.

It then uses very broad gestures that don’t need to be accurate – again, removing that need to take your eyes off the road.

The complication comes with selecting different factors to adjust – radio volume, temperature or airflow. The system chosen here relies on the number of fingers that you use to touch the screen with, which would potentially take a little time to learn.

If it had stopped there then I could see it being a viable option, but they’ve then tried to add even more controls in, so that how far apart your fingers are changes what is being controlled.

I think the amount of thought required to remember the number of fingers needed, and how far apart they should be is probably as distracting as glancing down.

It might improve over time, and muscle memory could be relied on for the more common tasks, but for now, I think it’s trying to be that bit too clever.

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