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AZskibum
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CEO
Re: Automotive vs. Cconsumer UI
AZskibum   9/30/2013 11:36:46 AM
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"The level of distraction is a function of the location of the screen (do you have to look down or away) and the size and obviousness of the functions."

Very true, and this is also a good argument for HUDs projected onto the windshield.

AZskibum
User Rank
CEO
Re: UI battle between carmakers and CE vendors?
AZskibum   9/30/2013 11:33:35 AM
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The ultimate UI has to be voice, not touchscreen or even voice-assisted touchscreen. Yes, we all like to play with knobs or otherwise use our hands to control things, but that also usually involves averting our eyes away from the road ahead. This isn't just a modern-day problem due to cell phones, etc. Cars have always had audio systems, and we've all done our share of changing radio stations or tracks on a CD while driving. That might be a very momentary distraction -- far less dangerous than texting, for example -- but sometimes a momentary distraction can be disasterous.

Caleb Kraft
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Blogger
Re: UI battle between carmakers and CE vendors?
Caleb Kraft   9/30/2013 9:58:20 AM
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Sure, this will always be true. Simpler tech is easier to repair. However, in order to make progress, we'll just have to possibly accept that not everyone will be repairing their device at home. 

It is weird for me to say that, since I'm a huge proponent of quality goods that are easily repairable, but it is true. If we only use what your average joe can fix, we just won't have cool new tech ever. 

kfield
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Blogger
Re: UI battle between carmakers and CE vendors?
kfield   9/30/2013 9:51:30 AM
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@calebkraft repair is also simpler with buttons and knobs. My husband had a basic (read: limited electronics) washing machine that ran for years without any required maintenance. The only thing that failed over the years was a plastic knob, he replaced it with a wooden knob like the kind you'd find in an old-fashioned chest of drawers. It was ugly, but worked perfectly!

junko.yoshida
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Blogger
Re: Automotive vs. Cconsumer UI
junko.yoshida   9/3/2013 4:09:54 AM
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@selinz, you wrote:

The availability of a dock and an alternative user interface for use in vehicles really make it easy to call, listen to recorded audio, even listen to texts withough having to remove you eyes from the road.


That is actually a good argument for giving drivers the freedom to use their own CE devices in their own cars. And as you note, as long as the driver knows where to locate (and mount) the CE device, the driver's familiarity with his own CE device is probably make it "safer" to use. 

selinz
User Rank
CEO
Re: Automotive vs. Cconsumer UI
selinz   8/31/2013 12:15:30 PM
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The level of distraction is a function of the location of the screen (do you have to look down or away) and the size and obviousness of the functions. I have been very impressed with one particular mobile maker in their efforts to ease this transition into automobiles.

The availability of a dock and an alternative user interface for use in vehicles really make it easy to call, listen to recorded audio, even listen to texts withough having to remove you eyes from the road. It's not surprising that they have a long history with car radio. Oh, big screens help too. Unlike "super commuter," my commute is 100% in my car so it's an incredible benefit to be able to answer and initiate calls hand and essentially eyes free during the 2 to3 hours of daily commute time. Again, the location plays a critical role. I mount my phone on my 2007 civic in front of the Tach, which is not critical for driving but places the phone in a non-distracted location.

 

The problem with legisltation is that it does a piss poor job of delineating crap user interfaces from good ones. We don't need more laws. Every state has a distracted driving statute.

EE,etc.
User Rank
Manager
Re: Automotive vs. Cconsumer UI
EE,etc.   8/30/2013 3:03:42 PM
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@Junko,

you wrote: "they are powerless to  smartphones and tablets drivers are bringing into their own cars... that's an issue, I think."

totally agree with your point!, recent stats from Insurance companies shows that driver's distraction (and we all know what is the cause of that; smartphones!) is the main cause of car accidents nowadays.

However, I belive when car makers integrate a CE technology feature in the cars, they tend to make it safer and that's a good practice. For example now almost all new cars have built-in Bluetooth and therefore all drivers can use hands-free connection in their car which is cool and multi-purpose (plays music, inculde contacts, etc.) , of course drivers still can avoid using it but it's less likley now becuse it's easily availble to them.





junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Automotive vs. Cconsumer UI
junko.yoshida   8/30/2013 9:38:59 AM
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@EE,etc. Thanks for your thorough response, as usual.

You wrote:


i am very glad that regulatory bodies such as NHTA are still actively involved:)

Me, too! But I do see their limit. They may be able to regulate (well, not mandate but recommend) what carmakers should and shouldn't do, but they are powerless to  smartphones and tablets drivers are bringing into their own cars... that's an issue, I think.

DrQuine
User Rank
CEO
Car User Interfaces
DrQuine   8/29/2013 8:37:11 PM
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I find simple interfaces convey the most information and allow for a quick learning curve. The simple visual MPG display (numerical average and instantaneous bar graph) on my 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid is unmatched on any other car. It is so intuitive that it provides "biofeedback" to improve driving performance. As a SuperCommuter (flying 800 miles one way commute to work every 15 days), I rent a lot of cars. Many new cars have displays that are so complex that you spend your time reading screens and pressing buttons to accomplish trivial tasks. At the opposite end of the spectrum, I was surprised to rent a VW Beetle this week and find a spartan elegant clean user interface. There is no visual clutter and the intuitive (except pressing the windshield wiper switch to display MPG) controls can be utilized in the dark. If you can settle for basic MPG information (it isn't a hybrid), this dashboard is exceptional. Looking ahead, I'd suggest a simple fully digital high resolution dashboard display with (simulated) analog or digital gauges. With an iPhone style touchscreen user interface to move around the display elements, each user could get exactly what they want without studying the manual. Unless a personalized driver was recognized, the screen would display default settings.

EE,etc.
User Rank
Manager
Re: Automotive vs. Cconsumer UI
EE,etc.   8/29/2013 7:59:19 PM
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@Junko, thanks for sharing the TV story, no doubt that the life cycle of all electronics are becoming shorter, however, some industries still can not and should not compete with CE industry in this race, one of them is the Auto industry, they just can't afford to have a new design every year and have it certified for production, one of the solution is to make their UI so customizable that every customer can get what they like, hoefully, that is not too far.

"a bigger trend of a platform-based approach for cars, especially when it comes to graphics on dashboards, may soon become something the auto industry might not be able to ignore."

as you said the new graphics on dashboards and UI will be an important differentiative factor for car makers and is already trending fast, I am sure it will be one of the decision factors for consumers very soon. traditionally Asian auto makers have been leading the car electronics and now seems European ones are catching up.

however, I still prefer the real backup camera from Toyota to the radar style picture of BMW!

and

i am very glad that regulatory bodies such as NHTA are still actively involved:)

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