Having been taught in driver's ed "Always keep your hands in the positions of ten and two on your steering wheel," makes me wonder about gesture control in general. OTOH, until recently I always drove a stick shift, so I was violating that rule all along!
@kfield: Having been taught in driver's ed "Always keep your hands in the positions of ten and two on your steering wheel,"...
Speaking of Driver's Ed ... I don't know what it's like where you live, but down here in Huntsville, Alabama, it seems like I'm the only one who knows what the signals on the car are for. It's amazing to me how many folks just slam their brakes on and execute a turn without signalling (mutter mutter moan groan)
You probably have never been in a car with a deaf driver like a few of my in-laws. At least one hand is almost always engaged in communication, and more often than I am comfortable with the eyes are distracted as well. That is one class that would definitely benefit from this technology, but I suspect it will not be a big enough market to really drive adoption. Junko, was that mentioned at all?
I use just one hand gesture in the car, but it's universally known and understood!
Seriously, though, I interviewed Allan Dale of Lectronix in Michigan on the Drive for Innovation, and I learned a very clever design lesson from him. He was working on the early specs (with Rockwell Collins in Iowa) on a new in-car command center for police cars. Size, weight and location were one design consideration. But the UI was a rear bear.
Dale didn't like the early versions and he helped redesign it by leaning on his experience as a pilot. In the cockpit, because of the rocking and rippling of the plane, much of the controls have a specific tactile feel to them. You either use them partly as leverage during bumpy parts of the ride and/or you identify them by their feel.
I think sign language is a complete non-starter in the car.
Having just purchased a Samsung SMART TV I am helping to build the gesture experience base. By waving and giving a series of open and closed fist gestures or by talking to it I have reasonable control over nearly all functions. As well as recognizing my open hand and fist closure it will also recognize my bare foot (don't ask). Also we had a mirror in the same room and it took some time to realize that the set was detecting hand images on the screen via the mirror and overlaying the command annotation on the picture, always at the critical moment in a film.
Sometimes it ignores me and the waving becomes more violent and the language more explicit and I go into whirling dervish mode. I get calmly told to "please say again there is too much noise". I do not think it is quite auto critical function ready yet I would hate to have to say "brakes" and see the "please say again message" as I depart this place.
Even with all the gesture and voice interfaces I am provided with two different types of remote and a pair of 3D glasses. The 3D glases are still unopened in the box and will most likely soon appear on one of the popular auction sites, if we can find them. On the whole a clever and admirable piece of electronics. The set is permantly on line with skype and I do wonder how long it will be before someone learns how to hack the set and watch via the built in webcam their own version of the whirling dervish.
Karen, i do remember those "ten and two" instructions! Since I only started driving when I moved to the U.S., I am still afraid of taking my hand off my steering wheel to reach a coffee cup! I don't even touch the radio dial...i just keep it on the same station!
@Brian, thanks for chiming in and sharing the links.
You wrote: Dale didn't like the early versions and he helped redesign it by leaning on his experience as a pilot. In the cockpit, because of the rocking and rippling of the plane, much of the controls have a specific tactile feel to them.
That's a great anecdote. I totally get that.
Without a tactile feel to it, I could easily picture myself keeping checking on the in-car infotainment system, to see if it "got" my gesture.