I love the concept of apple carplay and the other in dash UI for cars, however, maybe the solution was right in front of us, but had the wrong software. Why limit your UX while driving to hardware that came off the car manufacturing lot. Meet Navdy:
A modular heads up display, that allows you to use motions to interact with your digital lifestyle ( phone ) through maps, texts, and phone calls. Gone are the days of reaching over to your dashboard mounted phone, and waiting for that new car with bluetooth display integration. Garmins and Tom Tom’s were great, but they were single serving. Todays techie needs a screen above the dashboard that is easy to use and gives them instant access without having to be hard to navigate through its menu / interactions.
Navdy is cool, but the more interesting observation is that these technologies have been around, but have not caught on due to price or the interactions were too broad to begin with. Leap Motion which has some amazing UX, never really solved a pain point. Navigating your computer never really made sense, but navigating your phone while driving has always been an issue. So much that many of us have already received tickets for driving and using our phones or just aside that policy was created to stop people from texting and driving.
Will this catch on? I am not sure. Is it better then anything else out there right now – yep. I think the HUD will start to catch up, but I also wonder if there is a cultural problem still in place. Maybe we should not be multitasking while driving at all? Its a mute point, but with that logic we should not have radio or bluetooth tech at all. The other question is how much hardware do you need from a car, or should technology always be an add on accessory? Maybe that makes more sense. Cars are replaced every 7 years or so, where phones roll over every 2 years or so. Maybe technology for cars should be modular and outsourced?
Either way, it will be interesting to see how Navdy takes off. Curious to see how the gestures work in real life, and how the resolution of the screen works and if there are any other criticisms that come to play once it starts being used by real people. Kudos to the Navdy team for being disruptive AND creating something that is self contained and plug and play.
WWDC introduced a number of features on monday that really showed off some impressive applications of responsive user experience ( I feel like I should coin that term ). Several things stood out, but one thing in particular – “handoff.” A lot of apps were designed to run the same content in multiple browsers and device sizes but the experience always had to be saved, and then reopened in another window. The fact that you can do this in a ubiquitous way is huge. This represents a new way of working where you never have to pause or exit while transitioning between devices. Instead of responsive consumption, we can finally have responsive production.
Another interesting question is if this will support cross device cookies for advertising? I could imagine if that if you could track a mobile website going to a desktop version, you could also track conversions between different iOs and web browsers for retargeting and digital ads. This could be really powerful for advertisers and marketers alike.
Windows 8 created an experience that allowed for windows to be scaled across devices. iOs has taken that to the next level where they can truly be used across devices without interruption.
I cant wait for fall to come so we can try this out in person, but I am more excited to see how this changes workflows for everyday people. Gone are the days of emailing a photo to yourself, or saving something to a google doc just so you can open in at your desk. When we can actually take things with you, how will that change how we act and plan?
Phones got a lot smarter in the last 10 years – now its time for cars. Dumb Feature Cars, will become smartcars in the next 2 years. I say Cars will become a Platform for Technology, because there are so many options. From self driving, to touch wheels, to sensors that have yet to become developed.
Lets consider cars the most beautiful and fast computer that happen to sit in – what would you want it to do. Let’s go beyond satellite radio and an iphone dock. Mini is making some great strides, apple too with CarPlay, and lets not forget Tesla who has the largest display of any manufacturer and their system is a full operating system, not just an entertainment kiosk.
The larger trend here is that the internet of things will continue to innovate on top of analog machines, and technology ecosystems will continue to overlap – leading to some exciting user experiences and great uses of contextual data.
Most people remember the stop button on your stereo system. Where did it go?
The purpose of the stop button was to disengage the play head on the magnetic reader, so that if you fast forwarded you wouldn’t scratch the tape. When the CD came around, physical playheads were replaced by lasers, so it wasn’t needed – yet the stop button stayed around for a while.
Then the CD players had a stop for when the CD had to actually stop turning. But now thats all digital. Analog controls no longer have a function.
Now, most systems have a pause, play button instead.
If you change too fast, people get confused or disoriented. But if you leave certain things around, they waste space. For example, I no longer remember what any of the “F” keys on the top of my keyboard do? What is F2, F8, F6 ? I have no clue.
Often, form follows function. But sometimes, legacy stays around for a bit.
Why do some legacy systems stay in place and others evolve? Just something to think about.
Carplay is going to be BIG. While apple could have simply make Cars be more compatible with iPhones, they took it a step further, and integrated with cars. This is one of the first places we are starting to see an S curve in cars shifting from hardware & mechanics to software.
My personal hypothesis is that most cars are similar enough – antilock breaks, power steering, top speeds, safety, etc. So the other place they can go for points of differentiation is style or software. This represents a new era of digital luxury in something that has always been very analog with digital touches.
I will continue to write about this in a few different posts – but this will really change things.
We are starting to see that networks are overlapping with other networks – which is an entirely new level of contextual awareness for machines. Its the start of something really new.
It brings up some really interesting smaller and big questions including:
1. Will you choose a car based off of what carrier it has?
2. Will you service your car at an apple store or your local garage ?
3. How do you manage multiple drivers?
4.Are you allowed to download while driving?
5. What does this mean for privacy?
6. Could apps move into things that are essential car functions such as AC or performance?
7. Who would have thought Google & Apple would be large players in the auto market? 8.The idea of Cars as a platform, not a thing.
I love hands free, but apparently my iphone doesn’t know its in my car. It seamlessly can answer calls, or play music through my cars speakers, but thats about it. Everything else is just about it being mounted on my dash.
Why doesn’t the UI of my phone change when its connected to my car via bluetooth?
Let me first say that I love apple products. However, as a driver, this most recent iOs update made is very hard to perform basic functions while driving. I am not talking about using Siri or playing a game, I am specifically talking about how the button to hang up the phone went from 2 inches rectangular to 1/4 inch circular. Thats a big difference while you are driving. I expect for the UI of my phone to become simpler and bigger while I am driving. I do agree that is looks better, and is more cohesive, but that is not the point I am making here. I am talking about usability of a smart device during certain types of activities.
Ui elements – smaller buttons
Phones need to become more contextual to meet our needs. Context doesn’t have to be magical, however connected devices should give clues to a phone about how it could work and behave.
My phone is beautiful, but I am waiting for the utility of it to catch up to my expectations.
While google glass is running into issues about the legality of use while driving, other uses of augmented reality are taking off. Skully helmets have taken the same functionality to a niche, and found success. On that note, Oakley was exploring the same UX a few years ago.
It seems that exploring a heads up display for everyone has run into challenges and fear, where AR solutions for the long tail and the particular have been embraced.
Where must PR have gone wrong where certain technologies drive people to the worse case scenario rather then what could be. Positioning off the bat is vital. Listen to what your customer want, and deliver. Capture their imagination off the bat. They will embrace the promise of something new rather then critique the holes.
3d projection mapping for buildings has been done for advertising and agencies for a few years now, but it has only thrived in post via youtube for brands.
The recent use of 3d mapping for the Cleveland Cavaliers made its way around the internet recently for a few reasons. Its an interesting example of an existing solution, mapped to a new type of problem, which just seems to fit. The solution is entertaining, and contextually makes sense. Here are a few more thoughts on this project.
1. The game court is essentially an empty screen while the game is not going on. Therefore, how can advertisers or programmers use this space for fan engagement. Can we take this a step further?
2. Pregame and halftime shows have been historically very analog. I know this show must have cost a lot for projection, but it also made an impression. However, I wonder if being in the dark was a problem for some fans trying to find their way to their seats.
3. Rethinking opening sequences. 3d mapping in general has never really added to an experience, it has only been a wow factor thing that made people stop and look. However, in a “coming attractions” context, it was a great opener to the show. The key here is that the technology added to the story and fan experience, rather then just being for tech sake. This is a very important distinction.
Technology without context and purpose is just a fad. But use it as a tool for create a touchpoint for something memorable, and people will never forget it.
I struggle using Siri to call a restaurant or fedex. I spend 2 entire minutes while driving finding the right location, and often it registers my “yes” as a “yet” and I have to start over. The process is tolerable at best.
The outstanding question I have asked for the last 2 years is why is the car integration so bad? Apple knows I am sync’d via bluetooth, so why is the font so small, why is the UI not responsive, why can I not utilize something that minimizes the total number of touches?
It looks like finally that apple has started to form the strategic partnerships in auto interiors. The race to the TV entertainment center has been amended to also include auto integration. And why not. We have become partial cyborgs in terms of mapping, directions, and search, and cars seem like one of the most underutilized places for tech and multitasking. Not that multitasking is safe, but I am just saying the technology and displays in car has been lagging compared to the rest of our entertainment universe.
According to PSFK, the following auto makers will sign on: Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo initially. BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp
I am excited to see how mobile continues to integrate into our daily commute.
The Nike Fuelband app just added the functionality to share your goal progress with a picture. This simple change in user experience was a brillant marketing decision. Although I am not sure I always want to hear about my friends working out every day, this helps hearing about nike plus in two ways.
1. With a picture, I get to tell my workout story or active day in a more visual way that I choose and am accustomed to on Facebook. We all know that images get more shares and likes then text alone, so this makes sense in how the app would evolve. I would imagine that this gives my friends a better picture of what I am doing, but also is more entertaining to see and watch then just a sentence about a workout routine I may not care about. The ability to add a picture makes this experience about the story and the person rather then just the number. And in a way, it might add more Nike+ stamps onto other lifestyle activities. What if every picture you took during the day had a fuelband stamp rather then just when you hit your goal? Its a great opportunity for nike to move more into the storytelling space.
2. This will also help serve as an earned media database for images for Nike+. Now all the nike plus stories are sharable. They can find a home on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Images are more likely to tell the nike plus story and be told and received in a new way. Ultimately breathing new life into the nike plus ecosystem, and raise awareness of the digital brand.
2 other features I would love to see:
1. Video. Video clips would be natural extensions of this UX. And sometimes a video can really show a better story then a snapshot alone. Vine integration would be awesome. hint hint.
2. Networked apps: Lets say I was skateboarding with my buddies. What I would really want to do is to take a photo of someone else doing a trick and tagging their fuel moment to that picture. As much as we love taking photos of ourselves in this narcissistic era, sometimes you just cant while you are active. But your buddy can. Not sure how this could work, but it could be really great for content production. Perhaps the best way to implement this would be to have an API that would allow for the nike fuel points and timecodes to be exported to other medias.
Everyone is an athlete. Now we just have more ways to tell the story. Share on.