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Death of the knobs/buttons...

By joshuatrio following x   2017 Jan 5, 9:31am 4,147 views   33 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


Is it just me, or does anyone find all the "screens/touchscreens" really annoying in the new cars. I don't mind a small screen or something that can be controlled with dials and knobs, but some of these newer fully auto touchscreen command centers in cars is a bad idea (to me anyways).

1) With a button/knob/dial, it's easy to instinctively know where it is and what it does. Whereas a touch screen requires you to take your eyes off the road, locate the part of the screen to touch and touch it or navigate to a different menu. This to me seems like a safety concern.

2) They date quickly. As in. Remember the old in dash nav systems on the older luxury cars? A couple years after they were introduced, they looked OLD and dated as newer tech came out. Whereas, the button/dial/knob system (less tech) has a more timeless look.

3) Why the fuck do we need more screens? Many of us sit in front of one all day - so why the hell do we need to do it while we drive?

4) When your $20k touch screen breaks, imagine how expensive it'll be to replace your "command center."

5) Even worse. It's cold out. You have your gloves on. Good luck.

1   BayArea   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 9:39am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Interesting observation and thank you for sharing.

The touch screens are powerful and dynamic, but like you said, it's not for everyone.

I just want a simple user experience. I don't need or want a dynamic touchscreen in my car for every single feature. But with the popularity of touchscreen in televisions, phones, and computers, it seems inevitable that this is where things are going. The auto manufacturers want selling points, and the touchscreen seems to be a strong one.

2   Tenpoundbass   ignore (11)   2017 Jan 5, 9:43am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Everything has a screen these days. People would by a touch screen toaster if they made it.

I guess screens and circuits have gotten cheaper than variable resistors.

3   joshuatrio   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 9:49am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

BayArea says

I just want a simple user experience. I don't need or want a dynamic touchscreen in my car for every single feature.

Same here... I came to this conclusion after renting several cars over the last month. Granted Toyota did a pretty good job of balancing new tech w/ old, but other manufacturers failed horribly. After getting back in my 2009 Honda, it was nice not having all this shit staring back at me. A few simple knobs and buttons did everything the touchscreen did, in much less time.

I get really freaking annoyed when refrigerators have a freaking touch screen/television with wifi, just so that you can look inside the fridge without opening the door - or from work.

4   joshuatrio   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 9:51am   ↑ like (5)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Tenpoundbass says

People would by a touch screen toaster if they made it.

Merry Christmas.

http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/9241_Symbian_toaster_TEXTNWALK.php

5   BayArea   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 10:01am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

The part that hasn't yet been pointed out...

More features means more selling points and more guaranteed service/parts revenue for the manufacturer over the life of the car. Purchase wisely.

There's a reason why the depreciation of luxury cars exceeds that of your typical Toyota.

6   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2017 Jan 5, 10:06am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

joshuatrio says

Is it just me, or does anyone find all the "screens/touchscreens" really annoying in the new cars

It's not just you.
It's not that just that they are annoying, but when something breaks, and it will, it's going to be really difficult to diagnose and expensive to fix. I also hate power windows.

7   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2017 Jan 5, 10:08am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Obligatory:

8   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2017 Jan 5, 10:12am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

BayArea says

The auto manufacturers want selling points, and more most the touchscreen seems to be a strong one.

I think it might have a lot to do with P/E envy. Companies that are viewed as technology companies have P/E ratios that are insanely high. Auto companies have a PE of like 7.
Right now I see Ford's P/E of 6, GM at 4, and they want that insanely high stock price due to high P/E ratios, just like a technology company. Either that, or the touch screens are mandated by the marketing or accounting department.

9   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2017 Jan 5, 10:14am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

joshuatrio says

4) When your $20k touch screen breaks, imagine how expensive it'll be to replace your "command center."

Yeah and when the car gets old you won't be able to get a replacement touch screen. I can see cars totaled due to a touch screen.

10   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2017 Jan 5, 10:14am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

joshuatrio says

2) They date quickly. As in. Remember the old in dash nav systems on the older luxury cars? A couple years after they were introduced, they looked OLD and dated as newer tech came out. Whereas, the button/dial/knob system (less tech) has a more timeless look.

Then you can just download the software updates, for a price.

11   BayArea   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 10:14am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

That's just it. They aren't going to diagnose and fix individual parts.

They'll just isolate it to a system, and charge you handsomely to replace that system even though a $0.29 capacitor is blown inside.

We are getting taken for a ride.

I really like cars between the 1996-2006 era or so. You had anti-lock brakes, traction control, and OBDII for easy and quick diagnostics, but you could still work on them yourself. Beyond that, things started to exceed what I need and want.

12   joshuatrio   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 10:17am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

BayArea says

I really like cars between the 1996-2006 era or so. You had anti-lock brakes, traction control, and OBDII for easy and quick diagnostics, but you could still work on them yourself. Beyond that, things started to exceed what I need and want.

Agree, I think this era was a great balance between tech/functionality and the ability to do shit yourself.

13   Eric Holder   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 10:18am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

BayArea says

They'll just isolate it to a system, and charge you handsomely to replace that system even though a $0.29 capacitor is blown inside.

And we'll say "fuck them" and diagnose/fix it ourselves using ali/ebay-sourced parts. Just like we do it now with iphones/ipads/macbooks/you-name-it which supposedly can't be repaired or require Apples' "geniuses" and shitload of money to fix.

14   Ceffer   ignore (1)   2017 Jan 5, 10:18am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Just grab the car's pussy and shut up.

15   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2017 Jan 5, 10:20am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Perhaps we should create an aftermarket parts company that makes knob assemblies that are replacements for touch screens. You know, you can remove the touch screens and you get real knobs for HVAC and other controls, a voltmeter (because all cars should have this) and either a single or double DIN head unit.

Something like this (conceptually). This is from a Ford Escort:
Before:

During:

Install kit:

After:

16   joshuatrio   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 10:21am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

I do wonder if the trend will last. I remember some of the vehicles in the 80's having LCD readouts that were obnoxious, but similar to today's touchscreens.

That fad died pretty quickly.

17   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2017 Jan 5, 10:23am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Eric Holder says

And we'll say "fuck them" and diagnose/fix it ourselves using ali/ebay-sourced parts. Just like we do it now with iphones/ipads/macbooks/you-name-it which supposedly can't be repaired or require Apples' "geniuses" and shitload of money to fix.

True, but then you have to wait sometimes a week or so without the functionality, and suppose the touch screen controlled the car's HVAC?

18   BayArea   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 10:24am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

joshuatrio says

I do wonder if the trend will last. I remember some of the vehicles in the 80's having LCD readouts that were obnoxious, but similar to today's touchscreens.

That fad died pretty quickly.

Do you guys remember the digital dash of the 1984 Corvette? Seemed so cool at the time lol

19   joshuatrio   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 10:25am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

BayArea says

Do you guys remember the digital dash of the 1984 Corvette? Seemed so cool at the time lol

That's exactly the car that I was thinking about lol. I rode in it as a kid and thought it was night rider.

20   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2017 Jan 5, 10:25am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/310-7th-generation-2012/845338-my-2012-camry-touch-screen-cracked-need-suggestions-guys.html

Hey guys, due to an unfortunate accident, the touch screen on my 2012 Camry SE broke. This is the Entune w/ Navigation.

I need some suggestions as to what my next best step is? I've called Toyota and I've gotten quotes between $3000-$4000 since they said I need to order a whole new system. That's one crazy price to pay, what are my options guys?

http://www.veloster.org/forum/35-hyundai-veloster-audio-electronics/10910-broken-touchscreen.html

I was moving around boxes in my '13 Veloster today and managed to crack the touchscreen. It is now completely non-responsive and looks hideous. I called the local dealer in NJ and they quoted me over $2,400 to replace it!

Additional text to prove it's not me who forgot to close the italics tag.

21   joshuatrio   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 10:31am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

zzyzzx says

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/310-7th-generation-2012/845338-my-2012-camry-touch-screen-cracked-need-suggestions-guys.html

Hey guys, due to an unfortunate accident, the touch screen on my 2012 Camry SE broke. This is the Entune w/ Navigation.


I need some suggestions as to what my next best step is? I've called Toyota and I've gotten quotes between $3000-$4000 since they said I need to order a whole new system. That's one crazy price to pay, what are my options guys?

http://www.veloster.org/forum/35-hyundai-veloster-audio-electronics/10910-broken-touchscreen.html

I was moving around boxes in my '13 Velos...

Ouch. That would suck... The screen replacement is like 1/3 the cars worth. Seems like a bad deal to me.

22   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2017 Jan 5, 10:38am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

joshuatrio says

With a button/knob/dial, it's easy to instinctively know where it is and what it does

That's not a function of physical vs virtual buttons, but rather a function of persistent layout. A single spot is used for one and only one control.

The trade-off for getting the spot to control mapping for your brain is that you lose
1. The ability to show only the controls of interest at this time and thus avoid information overload.
2. The ability to use a small area for your control system rather than having a 747 cockpit style "controls everywhere" look.

If done right, a dynamic virtual control panel is just as easy to use as physical controls placed in unique positions taking up a square meter of area, but only takes up a tenth the space.

I like a system that Mercedes has where there's a control knob near your gear shift to the right of the driver's seat. That knob acts as both a circular slider and a joystick as well as a button for navigating and selecting system and setting values. The dashboard display is simple, intuitive, and clean. You can just browse and know how to use it without even any reading or introduction. Typically you do some one time setups for seats and other preferences. Then you are either on the radio or the navigation map. Either way, that knob slider/joystick/button control is all you need and you don't have to look anywhere by the road and maybe glance at the dashboard display. You're brain will map what movements to make to change the stations, the audio input source, or the map.

When done right, dynamic virtual control panels are definitely the way to go. But if done wrong, they will suck. Monkeys can't code well.

23   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2017 Jan 5, 10:39am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

joshuatrio says

the cars w

Be careful to end your HTML tags. PatNet doesn't close them automatically.

If someone does leave an open tag, the next poster can close it. Otherwise, the style keeps applying.

24   Ceffer   ignore (1)   2017 Jan 5, 10:47am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

I like buttons that make the sound of a woman having an orgasm when I touch them.

25   Eric Holder   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 11:58am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

zzyzzx says

True, but then you have to wait sometimes a week or so without the functionality, and suppose the touch screen controlled the car's HVAC?

Don't even need a touchscreen for that: some Infiniti cars have HVAC control integrated with radio/cd changer. When the latter conks out HVAC is stuck on whatever settings it was at the moment. And you have a choice: anal rape by $tealer or wait 3-4 days for a part from eBay.

26   mmmarvel   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 12:27pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

zzyzzx says

Then you can just download the software updates, for a price.

The nav system on our 2014 Camry was 'out-dated'. They wanted $150 (from the dealer) to update it. I bought the upgrade micro-card off the internet for half that and did it myself. My wife was nervous (but she always is) but it worked just fine. In another couple years, I'll upgrade this card.

27   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (1)   2017 Jan 5, 1:12pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Dan8267 says

joshuatrio says

With a button/knob/dial, it's easy to instinctively know where it is and what it does

That's not a function of physical vs virtual buttons, but rather a function of persistent layout. A single spot is used for one and only one control.

The trade-off for getting the spot to control mapping for your brain is that you lose

1. The ability to show only the controls of interest at this time and thus avoid information overload.

2. The ability to use a small area for your control system rather than having a 747 cockpit style "controls everywhere" look.

This is where physical buttons are a much superior design:
1 - When you have your eyes on the road you can't see where your fingers are going on the screen, or even what the screen currently shows.
vs Buttons don't move so you can instinctively move your hand and lower the radio volume very fast without looking.
2 - you use the sense of touch a feedback to validate what you are doing - again without looking - which you can't do with a touch screen.
3 - a car is not a 747, there are very few controls you need, but then you really need them. The only reason to need more space would be if you make the basic functions (ventilation) more complex than they need to be.

Conclusion: Screens are only useful for navigation systems (maps) and maybe choice of music/radio. Ideally you should just be able to plug in your phone in the dashboard and use that. Leave that work to actual computers.
All the rest should be physical buttons.

29   P N Dr Lo R   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 3:30pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

joshuatrio says

I remember some of the vehicles in the 80's having LCD readouts

The first ones I remember were in the 1986 Rivieras and were received with almost universal condemnation by testers because of the distraction required for simple adjustments to HVAC and radio controls:

It was such a comedown from the beauty of a 1964 interior:

30   P N Dr Lo R   ignore (0)   2017 Jan 5, 3:59pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

BayArea says

There's a reason why the depreciation of luxury cars exceeds that of your typical Toyota.

I used to pick up and read Bimmer magazine beause it had such a detailed Q&A section about the problems with the cars--it made the point over and over that the value of a late model BMW drops over 50% once the warranty expires simply because of the expense of repairs being always more than the car is worth.

31   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2017 Jan 5, 5:11pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Ironman says

You can thank me later.

How did you do that?

33   Tenpoundbass   ignore (11)   2017 Jan 6, 5:26pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

P N Dr Lo R says

The first ones I remember were in the 1986 Rivieras and were received with almost universal condemnation by testers because of the distraction required for simple adjustments to HVAC and radio controls:

Really there is so much about car safety that the invent of the airbag just tossed out the window. We focus way too much on crumple zones and airbags now.
Other safety musts gets in the way. Like thin windshield side posts, and the wrap around windshield for better right side coming traffic. Now the windshields are as flat as possible and the side posts are the airbag curtains the thickness causes me several times a week. To have to stop again, as a pedestrian was in the line of sight of the post or an on coming car was. This is especially bad on the right side.

If I were to get TBoned by any heavy moving steel. I'm pretty sure it would slice right through my Mazda 3 like butter.

Those side curtains are a joke you're going to get crushed to death or cut in two, the airbags will be pointless. People need to see the damn on coming traffic.





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