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Pointing Device For touchscreen

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by brooklynrab, May 26, 2014.

  1. brooklynrab

    brooklynrab Member

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    While the steering wheel controls for the touchscreen are decent, this car is missing a pointing device (track ball, touchpad, you name it) for the driver ( or a passenger) to be able to navigate the touchscreen without making the long reach to the touchscreen (which can be dangerous while driving), whether to pick a radio station that is not in favorites, a menu item like energy usage or select the weather off a webpage. Being able to do this with your right hand on the arm rest and selecting would be great. I have used both a wired and unwired usb mouse, as well as touchpad successfully (interestingly, the right mouse button, not the left one, is used to select an item). HAs anyone done any permanent or semi-permanent setup of such a device? I was thinking about mounting it on the vertical sloping service on the front of the arm rest, above the usb ports, but reallized that my trackpad requires a flat, not a sloped surface to operate. Anyone use a trackball? If so, which one? It would be nice if this didnt look rube goldberg-esque. Too bad Tesla didn't think of this.
    PS, Yes, I know this is unsafe for the driver to take his attention off the road, but if its good enough for BMW and audi, it should be good enough for us.
     
  2. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I would think this is less safe. You'd have to watch the pointer move around instead of glancing over and taping with your finger. BMWs iDrive gets the worst reviews for user interface while most people like what Tesla has done.
     
  3. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

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    The best pointing device is your finger and the touch screen is very responsive (far better than any other car touch screen I’ve ever used). I agree with dsm363 with regards to safety since the mouse adds a layer of abstraction to what you’re trying to do, your brain will be more consumed by the task of clicking a simple button on the screen than just reaching out and tapping it, and you’ll be more likely to be an inattentive driver.

    Tesla got this right.
     
  4. araxara

    araxara S-P85#3,218 X-90D#3,299

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    I've used a Logitech trackball. Works great. I carried it around all the time and would plug it in to allow rear passengers to play with the screen. But after a year of this, and actually never having a rear passenger use it, I took it back into the house and haven't missed it. If there were a concealed way to attach it, I wouldn't mind using it. It was actually a very comfortable device.
     

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  5. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #5 ecarfan, May 26, 2014
    Last edited: May 26, 2014
    I think using anything other than your finger is a very bad idea. It takes much more cognitive processing, and hence is more distracting, to first find the pointing device, position it in relation to your hand, then find the cursor symbol on the screen, then watch the screen as you move the cursor to the desired location and then tap or click to execute the command, as compared to pointing at the screen with your finger and pressing.

    Please don't use a pointing device if you are the driver!

    The Tesla UI is very well designed and simple to use with a pointing device that everyone has readily available to them: a finger.
     
  6. GaryREM

    GaryREM Member

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    #6 GaryREM, May 26, 2014
    Last edited: May 26, 2014
    I have a cursor up/down key on my Infiniti's steering wheel. Since I get lists as results often when looking for places in the nav or getting results for music, it would be very nice to have a simple up/down/left/right set of buttons on the wheel and never have to touch the big screen when driving.
     
  7. brooklynrab

    brooklynrab Member

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    There have been numerous debates about touchpad vs pointing device on other vehicles, and I don't know that there is an absolute right answer. I don't see how leaning forward to connect my finger to a screen is safer than remaining in an optimal driving position and using a mouse (or trackball or whatever) on or near the armrest where my right arm naturally sits, similar to the way i am able to use steering wheel controls now for some functions (I still have to look to the screen while doing so to make sure I got it right). Also, maybe my browser is buggy, but scrolling down on it with my finger isn't exactly a smooth operation.

    I agree with garyREM that a bit more capability to the steering wheel setup would solve most issues I am focussed on (like scrolling through a station list beyond the 5 or 6 "favorites", or picking a recent destination from Navigation or a Favorite from the web browser list, or scrolling down a web page). If these things can be fixed with software and added to the steering wheel functionality, fantastic -- I am not in love with adding another device to my car.
     
  8. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    Plus it just plain takes longer! Shorter distraction = better (other things being equal), and with finger and a glance at the screen, I don't need to be very precise and I can just tap, versus fiddling around. Unless it were done with a HID, so you're at least pretending to look towards the road . . . touch is better, IMHO.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I don't lean to the screen. Perhaps your seat is too far back, or mine's too close? ;-) I probably shouldn't second guess your description, but that's the first thing I thought of.

    Sometimes I use the screen instead of scroll wheels for temperature and volume (what I have them set up to do). I think in this case, part of it's just that I still haven't totally retrained myself, but I find it very quick and not distracting (but those are easier targets than some things we do on the touch screen, of course). Well, also, half the time the scroll wheels have to be nudged a couple of spots, then sometimes they overshoot . . . so really touching the buttons for these two actions sometimes just feels quicker and more precise.

    I agree some mode of using scroll wheels on the steering wheel may be useful for lists, although it still seems like it'd still be slower than touch, thus more distracting . . . but I'm not sure.

    Oh. I thought you were talking about just navigating Tesla's UI. The browser is a bit slow/quirky. To me the browser's a gimmick and too much of a pain to use while driving, especially for sites that require a lot of scrolling/navigation/tapping/etc. IMHO, it's really best to use while stopped, not while driving.
     
  9. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    If you're talking about browsing the web while driving then that's probably not the best idea anyway but the browser is slow and not the best interface I agree.

    If you glance at the screen then you can reach over and hit your target quickly. If you have to watch the pointer from the mouse go to your target the entire way, think that would take longer. I don't have to lean forward to reach the screen either the way my car is set up at least.
     

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