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  • g1u2nt g1u2nt Feb 10, 2013 4:24 PM Flag

    Wall street Journal article on Auto touch screens

    Very interesting piece on Cadillac, Lexus, GM Models with new touch screens. The author mentions
    that they are capacitive touch.

    And now, just a few months after the CUE system made its debut, we have two high-volume cars from Ford—the Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ—with consolidated touch-screen/capacitive switch panels. The MKZ panel, in particular, recommends itself as a sweeping banked console that flows between the front seats. The gear selector comprises a vertical row of P-R-N-D-S touch-screen buttons on the left of the central LCD touch screen (shades of the '64 Plymouth Valiant). The sliders for cabin temperature and audio volume are also capacitive and are landmarked with bright alloy bevels, which make them easier to find and use than the controls in the Cadillac panel.

    The effect of all these panels is to contemporize the cockpit layout in a way that adds a lot more function while subtracting many more switches and buttons. Given these systems' clarity, functionality and modernity—the way the human interface crosses over from other digital devices—I think it will be hard to go back.

    So there it is. Based on my experience with the RX 350 F Sport, I declare the rotary controller obsolete. Capacitive switchgear will kill the dial controller, probably within one product generation or two.

    And yet, the handwriting is on the wall for capacitive switchgear, too. Soon gesture-recognition systems, which will read the occupants' hand gestures in the empty air, will supersede touch screens and capacitive switches, avoiding, among other things, greasy fingerprints on the controls. The geography of fixed switches will disappear altogether.

    Then where will the ax fall?

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    • Neon's touch tech just entered as a new player in this field. So far the trend is on to use touch screens dominated by capacitive technology.. But capacitive has too much weakness....therefore neon will be the player to replace the capacitive ones in the next few years!!! This will be a huge rev drivers in the mid term for neon!!!!

    • Here is the beginning of the article. Sorry for the messy post.

      As someone who cycles through new cars on a weekly basis, I can tell you the space in the dashboard between the front occupants, the center stack of displays and switches, is the most hotly contested square foot in the car business. And for good reason: Most cars of similar size, configuration and price perform pretty much the same. A vehicle's man-machine interface, the MMI, is a place where car designers can do some open-field running.

      Or stumbling. Cadillac's new MMI, called CUE (Cadillac User Experience), uses an elegant, gloss-black waterfall panel with capacitive switches for volume, HVAC and seat temperature. There is also an 8-inch capacitive touch screen mid-dash, displaying an iPhone-like terrain of icons, apps, and assorted mobile JavaScript for navigation, phone, audio and vehicle settings. The CUE system, deep with features and surprisingly intuitive, with fun features such as natural-voice recognition, allows connected drivers to transition from their smartphones without missing a beat.

      And the CUE system is lovely. Supplanting a dash array of complicated (and expensive, and difficult to update) switches, the CUE offers a glossy, aviation-style flush panel that, like the Lexus controller, provides haptic feedback.

      More on Cars

      Driver's Seat blog
      Eyes on the Road
      Jonathan Welsh: Me & My Car
      As I observed in my review of the Cadillac XTS, GM's luxury brand got out over its skis a bit with the CUE system. The first generation of the capacitive panels has proved to be a little balky, responding a few milliseconds slower than iPhone natives are used to. But the design is sound.

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