Concept: A multitouch car UI

Hmm—I’m not sold (at all) on the discoverability of this thing, but I remain deeply eager to see someone break open the staid, hoary world of in-car electronics. (The hyped Sync system in our new Fusion is capable but byzantine & laggy. What’s waiting a second+ after button pushes between friends—besides roughly 100 feet traveled at speed?) What do you think?

[YouTube] [Via Christian Cantrell]

5 thoughts on “Concept: A multitouch car UI

  1. Interesting concept, and as you say discoverability could be a significant issue. But it also relies on using ever larger screens to accommodate movement. And I presume it would not be difficult to add more gesture controls, like rotate and flick.

    Perhaps a better approach would be to have 4-5 larger UI buttons across the top that narrows the category (audio, environment, utilities, etc.), so you are reducing the choices within any given mode. While that can also increase the interface options, it allows you to have the general idea of simply using compass directions and rotation to control things rather than memorizing how many fingers to use.

    On any of them, two fingers gives you increase/decrease for two variables, depending on vertical or horizontal movement. and it’s just a quick glance to tap environment or other modal settings.

    From a safety standpoint, it’s not just about taking your eyes off the road, but about distraction in general. People talking on cell phones (not texting) are still looking ahead, but aren’t actually involved with their environment as much as they could be. The goal should be to minimize attention needed, and I don’t see people doing that by memorizing numbers of fingers to use.

    Hell, I customize the touch features and radial menu on my Wacom and use them frequently. But I still have to interrupt my work flow to remind myself once in a while, and that can completely break my concentration. That can be fatal while driving, especially if there is some frustration while you’re trying to remember how to bump the bass but end up defrosting the windshield on a summer day 😛

  2. I still think the ultimate would be voice control.
    “Set temperature to 25C.”
    “Play next song.”
    “Set cruise control to 65 mph.”
    “Call a tow truck.”
    “Why don’t we talk anymore?”

  3. Just say “no” to touchscreens for car controls. Eyes on the road, please.

    I say this as somebody who’s been hit twice by idiots staring at their phones while driving.

  4. Interesting, good to see people pushing boundaries. BUT where is the process map?
    If all you were interested in was music this may be a help but I can still see people going off the road with this device. To much fixing results and not enough starting at the beginning of the process.

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