CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is mostly about new phones ( have you seen the Nokia Lumia 900? ), tablets, and other consumer electronics. Automotive brands like Mercedes-Benz and Ford though, have understood the need to present to consumer the advances they’ve made in automotive electronics and how they make life easier for the driver and occupants.
DICE (Dynamic & Intuitive Control Experience)
There are two facets to DICE. Augumented Reality and gestures based control. As you would expect, the windshield is the system’s canvas to paint on, and a heads up display projects the information on to the windshield.
Vehicles approaching intersections will be virtually superimposed on the windshield to enhance the driver’s situational awareness. Augumented Reality, a term often used today, is simply a view of reality enhanced with digital elements, mostly interactive and manipulable. Here the system recognizes the vehicle, and highlights the position of the vehicle/s approaching the intersection and enhances the driver’s awareness of the situation. In addition to digital information about the actual vehicle surroundings, points of interest, friends, pedestrians are also presented on the windscreen.
A gesture based control system, is used to interact with the information presented on the windscreen. The gesture based system, provides a control experience far more flexible and less time consuming than a simple touch screen interface.
With the DICE (Dynamic & Intuitive Control Experience) demonstration, at the CES 2012 Mercedes-Benz provides a vision of the interactive, intuitive and simultaneously safe operating experience.
It would seem the time has come to say goodbye to elaborate, complex, multi level menu systems. Mercedes-Benz presents a world first context-dependent, place-related presentation, as ‘an information swarm’ of the menu contents of the infotainment system : “Media”, “Social” and “Places”.
Under “Social”, for example, friends from one’s social networks are shown in the 3-D city arranged underneath. The same goes for “Places”, where the personal points of interest like restaurants or movie theaters can be stored. 3-D gestures and the swarm permit dynamic and intuitive control.
What does all this translate to?
The level of social integration being displayed by automotive manufacturers, though welcome, is bound to raise the question of safety. A gesture based system does make sense as opposed to plonking a touch based tablet on the central console, but we do wonder about the legal hurdles, what with all the proposed measures in various countries to stop people from making calls, even if you are using handsfree methods.