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Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by TEG, Apr 17, 2009.
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I really hope they put some dollars behind making the UI on that thing incredible. I noticed in a few videos that it's not currently very responsive (it's an early version naturally), and the mouse cursor appearing just seems silly.
Some interviews mentioned that it runs Linux behind all that right now.
And that customers may be able to customize the look to some degree.
I am surprised that there hasn't been more comments about the dashboard and center console. Tesla must have put together a suitable "demo" so far that people have universally accepted it without feeling the need to suggest something different.
I like the placement and look of all the 'software' controls... And we know that they plan to improve the contrast for production. I think they need to look into some sort of anti-glare coatings of some sort. The current LCDs are too mirror like and reflective.
Many cars with LCD panels have different palettes for daytime versus night time driving. I wonder if the Model S will adjust the display based on some sort of brightness sensor.
The thing that stands out to me is that it looks like they are using Google for their navigation application. I know from using my iPhone as I'm sure some of you are too that Google (atleast for iphone) isn't the best navigation app out there. It won't give turn by turn or recalculate your route. The only thing I like about it is you can overlay satellite picture and map views.
If the Model S has similar navigation it would be a terrible idea.
On the UI I also hope they will make a layout that makes certain more often used buttons more distinct or like TEG said make it user adjustable would be even better.
That is Apple's limitation, not Google's. If you go to maps.google.com you can get turn by turn directions. Apple made it a requirement that developers NOT make turn-by-turn apps.
I have an R8 right now, and also a VW GLI.. while the R8 is more upscale, I miss the nav in the GLI because I can put my finger down and flick to scroll the map... it's so much more intuitive than doing it with knobs and buttons.
Now imagine that, but with pinch support as well... It would be an amazing interface. The only thing I'd hope for is that they find a way to download maps to the hard drive like traditional nav units... no one wants to depend on cellular coverage for a map.
I'm hoping it will be arrangeable and skinnable as well. Seems only logical.
I wouldn't expect anything but Google Maps in a Tesla since both Larry Page and Sergey Brin are major investors.
But putting that aside, Google Maps has a rich API set that allows developers to make it jump through hoops. For instance, Aptera uses Google Maps to shade areas of the map to show one-way and round-trip ranges. Plus, they can route you past charging stations or show you the "greenest" route.
@TEG, I'm sure the lack of discussion regarding the console is due to a general understanding that (a) it's skinable, and (b) it's still early yet, the design will change.
On the subject of contrast - I'm hoping that by the time Model S is in production, OLED will be cost effective. That should remove the back light issue and lower power consumption.
I am not sure OLED is the answer. I have an HD-DVR and an MP3 player both with OLED, and they both wash out when hit by direct sunlight. A really high quality LCD might do better from what I have seen.
Not sure there's much to say that hasn't been said in other threads. What they currently have is really just a proof of concept. Of course the possibilities are exciting. Three years is a long time for this kind of stuff.
Not that it's particularly practical, but it would be fun to see a ST-TNG theme/skin.
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Make it so, #1...
I hope that whoever they assigned to do that is wearing a red shirt.
Well, I sure hope they get that issue fixed before I shell out for one when my CRT kicks the bucket...
They are not cheap, but by all accounts they are worth it:
Sony believed to be unveiling their 2nd generation XEL-2 OLED TV at IFA 2009
LG: OLED displays in two months, OLED TVs by the end of the year, will cost twice as much as LCDs
I've seen the OLED on the Nokia N85 and I thought it was pretty impressive.
However, in saying that I also think the latest Samsung LCDs are impressive - finally an LCD that does match CRT.
Maybe they'll use transreflective LCD so it can be read in direct sunlight.
Actually, I don't want OLED in my car. A car that is supposed to have at least 10 year lifetime. Beyond what current OLEDs can do. And in a situation where the burn-in issue is a factor (yeah, OLEDs have a slight burn-in potential - bad for a car interface situation where things are mostly static and high contrast).
As for the current screen interface, it's clear that Tesla understands the basics - sliders work best, buttons need to be big, tactile feedback. Some color coding needs to be done - not incompatible with the skinning idea, but makes it a bit harder. Also, what level of skinning are you shooting for? Color/gradients only? Metrics/button size? Full layout geometry? Each, in turn, is harder to do correctly. One of the comments by the engineers at the MP unveiling indicated that finding a supplier that could meet all the requirements was tough (don't forget the sunglasses issue - at a 90 degree rotation to how you'd want it on a laptop). Something that's easier to fix once you're ready to order in quantity.
As for using Linux, it's a good choice for an embedded situation, especially where power is concerned. And a car interface should be simple - no need for a GPU / too many transitional effects, though going with a low-power GPU could help with good birds-eye navigation. The current Atoms have more than enough grunt to do better map views than all but the most expensive GPS units.
Roundarch Technology Amps Up Tesla's Model S -Next-Generation Electric Vehicle Prototype Uses Merapi Advanced Platform in Haptic-Enabled Touch Screen with Wireless Connectivity
The Tesla Model S - Touch-Screen User Experience is Powered by Roundarchâ€™s Merapi Project
From VFX's link:
I personally favor direct touch instead of a separate relative input device - much faster, more direct interaction.