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December 29, 2005

No Touchscreens Please

First of all, let me say that I love touchscreens. If I could marry a touchscreen and have little touchscreen babies I would. That being said, I believe touchscreens have their places, but an automobile/car is not one. It's been my experience that most drivers need to concentrate on a multitude of other inputs and probably don't have the attention to spend on the displays that they need.

Yes, most touchscreens need a lot of attention. Just think of touchscreen ATMs, they have big screens with big buttons and I still have a problem getting the thing to recognize all my touch inputs. Touchscreens can become out of whack for a multitude of reasons, including varying temperatures. This is something that I know I've dealt with in the past, the interior of my car has gone from -5 deg F to 75 deg F in under and hour and sometimes in the wintery north I've seen it get to -20 deg F! I know some you are poo-pooing me, but I think that's damn cold.

So what I'm getting to is that most poorly designed (and some phenominally defined) user interfaces that depend on touchscreens can be more of a hindrance than a help in automotive applications. I think a much better system is to use soft buttons. This is the system that the Commanche helicopter was going to use before it was cut and it's just a more sophisticated Logitech Harmony Remote [logitech.com] LCD interface.

Posted by Guy at December 29, 2005 2:03 PM