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March 2014


Touchscreens - the Emperor's New Clothes of the car world?

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Touchscreens are the current doyen of in-car user interface. But the marketing dream of offering car occupants an iPad-like experience often comes crashing down against the reality of hurtling down a bumpy road in a fast-moving metal box.

Ford was one of the first companies to push towards touchscreen-driven controls with its Sync + MyFordTouch interface in the American market. But so problematic has this move proven, that Consumer Reports took several Ford cars off its recommended list. And now Ford has fronted up, said it’s learnt lessons and thus—in the new Mustang—reintroduced some buttons as a primary control method.

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Apple CarPlay: taking over the in-car UI, or a ‘play’ for something else?

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Much has been written about Apple’s CarPlay, but after our first hands-on experience with it in Geneva last week (as part of Volvo’s new user interface), we now have a clearer sense of what Apple is trying to do and the impact CarPlay might have.

The first question is whether Apple’s real aim here is to simply sell more Apple devices. Many think this is a play to muscle-out native automotive systems, but the short-term reality might not be so sinister.

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X-Ray fun from Geneva

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One of the playful trends in stand design in Geneva was the clever "X-ray" from both Renault and Citroën. As both companies were keen to show off their radical new designs as more than skin deep, they approached the problem in different but clever ways on their respective stands.

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Touch me – Geneva shows its love for the 'Airbump' [w/video]

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Some things we just want to reach out and touch – even when perhaps we shouldn’t! They speak to us of tactile curiosity, they suggest some sort of haptic loveliness. So we reach out with our hand to experience the feel of this new thing; to see if it feels like it looks – like we think it might ‘be’.  We touch with our fingertips to experience something possibly new and interesting. 

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