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Displays Input Devices Transportation Science Technology

Car Window Touchscreens 125

Posted by samzenpus
from the expensive-chips dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As if we need more proof that touchscreens are all the rage, designers are dreaming up ways to put them in cars. In the video, a child gazes wistfully out the window at a dreary countryside. Fields roll by, a lake, cyclists, trees that have lost their leaves. The car stops, and the child starts 'drawing' on the window. The article includes fascinating videos showing how touchscreens might infiltrate our lives in the future."
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Car Window Touchscreens

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  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @02:40PM (#36899340) Journal

    This makes my commute so much more pleasant, I can watch videos and^J^J^ NO CARRIER

    • ...unless you're driving a classic Jeep, you're going to have a very hard time reaching that windshield.
      (well, you can play with the side window I guess - but damn it'd be hard to see out the side of your peripheral vision)

      Does bring up a point, though... how would such a thing jibe with automotive safety regulations? If you tint your windshield, or in some states have too much crap attached to it (GPS, radar detector, etc etc), you can eat a ticket.

      Also, I remember some car model in the 1990's getting all

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      "This makes my commute so much more pleasant, I can watch videos and^J^J^ NO CARRIER"

      Did the window break? That's a few hundred dollars now and glass has been around for umpteen [thefreedictionary.com] years, I can't wait to see the cost of replacing a ~27" touchscreen.
    • My question is, why wasn't she wearing a seatbelt?
    • You'd have to be careful where you drive though. Wouldn't want to be driving downtown and have your child's window start pointing out all the hookers and drug dealers, encouraging your child to point at them.
    • by antdude (79039)

      Wait. You get an expensive car, and you use dial-up? EH?

    • Touch screen technology is used in varying forms from kiosks, PCs and monitors to digital signage.As if we need more proof that touchscreens are all the rage, designers are dreaming up ways to put them in cars. 2012 hyundai santa fe [ezdia.com]
  • On the other hand, I did notice that the "News for Nerds" slogan has disappeared from the site. That would explain alot.
  • by yincrash (854885) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @02:45PM (#36899434)
    steam it up and instant canvas
  • Great! (Score:2, Insightful)

    I can't keep the kids smeary fingerprints off the car windows now.
    • Don't forget dog nose-prints.

      Because a tablet would be so much less capable than a car window. This is possibly the stupidest "and the technology could be used for..." article I've ever seen.
      • Don't forget dog nose-prints.
         

        Will dogs install different virus than humans do? What happens to your car when a dog virus attacks it? Wet wheels?

      • by cayenne8 (626475)

        Because a tablet would be so much less capable than a car window. This is possibly the stupidest "and the technology could be used for..." article I've ever seen.

        Geez...what's with parents having to have 12 different forms of medial to keep kids busy on a trip?

        I used to have a few books, lay down across the back seat...and read most of the whole way....or with a few toys and imagination, I'd entertain myself for hours.

        I can see an occasional DVD or game, now that they're available...but geez...it sounds

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "I can't keep the kids smeary fingerprints off the car windows now."

      I keep the trunk closed. They get quiet after a while.

    • by Idbar (1034346)
      Even worse, now they will probably have an application to count "red cars", so they have more time to whine about how long it takes to get to the destination.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So, they are driving through a nice quiet countryside and that sicko draws an atomic blast in the middle of it. psycho much? Though, i did like how instead of looking at a few horses a ways away, you can have it be a big blurry blob instead! if i wanted to see that i wouldn't have spent so much money having my eyes lasered!

  • by The Pirou (1551493) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @02:47PM (#36899468)
    Great, one more thing to obscure the view of driving parents who spend too much time looking at what's going on in the back seat as it is instead of paying attention to the road.

    Buy your kid a tablet if you want them to be entertained with tech. Otherwise, cheap out and get an etch-a-sketch.
    • This. I don't need a bunch of doodles covering the view of my blindspots. Besides which kids would rather have some kind of handheld gaming platform like a DS than doodle on car windows. Or, you know, they could read goddamn books like everybody else did in cars before the dawn of lithium ion batteries.
      • by Pope (17780)

        Most people get some motion sickness trying to read books in cars, I know I do. Comics were fine.

      • Or, you know, they could read goddamn books like everybody else did in cars before the dawn of lithium ion batteries.

        I agree with--hold it, someone just twittered me a youtube video about the latest iphone app that allows access to skype..

    • Don't knock the Etchaschetch. I spent countless hours playing with that toy.Kinda still makes me wish I still had one. Of course my 7 year old daughter still wants to play with the light bright app on her Ipod touch.
    • by AdamThor (995520)

      I don't think my 2 year old could manage an etch a sketch, but he's loving his magna-doodle. That thing has been a way bigger success than I thought it would be.

    • by Kelbear (870538)

      Exactly, there's no reason to use the car windows for this. It's just a horrible UI experience. A kid should be buckled down into the chair, and if they're awkwardly turned 90 degrees towards the window, they're going to be crawling out of that seatbelt constantly. A tablet accomplishes the same purpose but without the incredibly awkward positioning. Plus it's portable so you can take it with you afterwards.

      Better yet, just velcro the tablet to the back of the carseats and they won't even need to hold it. I

      • A kid should be buckled down into the chair, and if they're awkwardly turned 90 degrees towards the window, they're going to be crawling out of that seatbelt constantly.

        Until you said that, I hadn't even thought about the fact that it could also lead to long term developmental problems in children due to them constantly contorting their bodies for long periods of time. Back pain at 25 anyone?

  • I did this all the time as a kid. I'd fog the window with my breath and draw to my heart's content. Of course my dad would make me clean the windows when we got home, but I still did it.
  • by hendrikboom (1001110) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @02:50PM (#36899522)

    I've seen commercials touting the driving experience using touch screens ... The *last8 thing I want to do is take my eyes off the road to look at a menu while I adjust the volume of the car radio. It's bad enough that the controls I have now operate at a touch -- I want to be able to feel the control and know it's the right one by fell alone before I press it, all while continuing to look out the front window.,

    • That is why I like my radio controls on my steering wheel the cruse control buttons there as well on my daily driver. I can operate them all without taking my hands off the wheel and they are in the correct spot so I can push them with my thumbs. Better yet each one has a different pattern when you touch it since the symbols are recessed so you know by touch what button you are on. On my junk truck none of that works so it doesn't matter where the controls are and my project car doesn't have any electronic
    • by s4ndm4n (1361751)
      I agree with you on that... definitely don't think drivers need another distraction but.. otoh.. for passenger windows in the rear seating of an SUV or minivan, it might work for the entertainment purposes, like for kids. Don't know if it's a good idea but it's better than anything to do with putting that on a winshield.
    • So you basically need controls that respond to your voice. The only touch screen they need to put in the front seat is the gps and you shouldn't need to touch that while you're driving. Touch screens on the windows....bah what a bunch of dumbasses.
      • So you basically need controls that respond to your voice.

        "No! you don't turn left here, you turn right over there! No, other right!"

        Do. Not. Want.

  • by Tridus (79566) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @02:51PM (#36899534) Homepage

    And it costs $4000 to replace.

    Goodie.

    This is just another in a long trend of stuffing more and more nonsense into cars, which is the opposite of what we need. What we need are light, simple, effecient cars. What they try to build instead is cars with touchscreen windows.

    • On the plus side, the required level of embedded computational power should be enough for manufacturers to cryptographically lock-out aftermarket replacements, and the car's stereo/video system to freak out and stop working when it decides that your new window isn't HDCP compliant...

      This, my friends, is Progress.
      • by vlm (69642)

        On the plus side, the required level of embedded computational power should be enough for manufacturers to cryptographically lock-out aftermarket replacements, and the car's stereo/video system to freak out and stop working when it decides that your new window isn't HDCP compliant...

        This, my friends, is Progress.

        No sir, progress would be displaying the "service engine soon" idiot light on the cryptographically locked out window. That means if a window ever breaks, in order to pass emissions tests in my area, you need to replace it with the manufacturer's window.

        Another option, is to display the speedometer on that window. Only need to emissions test the car every other year, but need to see the speedo all the time.

        And progress would be if the HDCP or whatever fails, it fails "jet black" so you can't see out the w

    • No what we need is simple, effective, efficient public transportation.

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        No what we need is simple, effective, efficient public transportation.

        LOL.

        • by dgatwood (11270)
          And unicorns, faeries, dragons, and wizards as well. All are equally plausible.
          • Well, maybe in the United States.

            Good public transport seems like it's happened in lots of other places. I wonder if people being open to the idea helped that happen.

            • by dgatwood (11270)

              Good public transit can work in cities, assuming you can get the cities to get over their power trips long enough to vote for creating a single board of directors to oversee all of the transit agencies in a region rather than having a thousand little Eichmanns each setting their own schedules and managing their own little sections of the transportation infrastructure. In other words, it's much less likely than unicorns; at least a unicorn could theoretically be created by genetic engineering, assuming you

    • Right. Investing in a tablet for your kid to bring in the car (or the house, or the doctor's office, or the train, etc. etc. etc.) might not be a bad idea. But to build it into a car, especially the most brittle part of a car - that's just a malinvestment.

      But, hey, I know people who have paid $900 a piece for dual built-in DVD players. I got my kids $100 no-name 7" video players from NewEgg, and those have been sufficient and they work everywhere.

      Now, if this technology gets to the point where it's very

    • Exactly. Some junkie smashes my window to get the nickels in the ashtray and the insurance company is out $4K. Or, worse yet, your windshield gets a crack and your insurance provider writes off the car.
    • by syousef (465911)

      And it costs $4000 to replace.

      Goodie.

      This is just another in a long trend of stuffing more and more nonsense into cars, which is the opposite of what we need. What we need are light, simple, effecient cars. What they try to build instead is cars with touchscreen windows.

      Here'a an article with a picture of the design:
      http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/The_Homer [wikia.com]

  • by paimin (656338) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @02:52PM (#36899566)
    That should be cheap to replace when a rock hits it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by drpimp (900837)
      What no one sees is that we are no longer in the middle east for oil, its sand we are after. Sand makes glass, and we want to use it more, so that our technological advancements in glass tech will remain cheap, we will remain in middle east long after oil is gone. I have no basis for this argument, it just sounded good.
      • by Pope (17780)

        Mine Arizona! Say NO to imported Middle East sand!

      • by artor3 (1344997)

        Well, we'll remain in the Middle East long after the oil is gone, but it won't be for glass. It'll be for the lithium buried under Afghanistan.

    • by houghi (78078)

      If rocks hitting your rear passenger window is a problem then this might not be for you. So how often does this has happened to you or anybody you know?

      I would be worried by people STEALING my window.

  • One of the first rules a toddler's parent develops is "hands off the glass! You'll get fingerprints on it!" Never has a parent actually encouraged their kids to smear their peanut-buttery fingers all over a car window.

    • by cvtan (752695)
      I distinctly remember my father threatening to kill us if we drew pictures on the fogged windows in the car. Nice memories!
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I distinctly remember my father threatening to kill us if we drew pictures on the fogged windows in the car. Nice memories!

        Threatened? You had it good! Our father used to actually kill us if we drew pictures on the fogged windows in the car and we never complained. You young people don't know how good you have it.

    • I have, many times.

      Granted, they weren't my kids, or in my car, but still...

  • I have enough problems keeping the kids fingers off the window. They smudge and smear and make it look like shit, now you are giving them a reason to mess up my damn windows!

    Now get off my lawn!

  • This sounds like it is just more expensive crap that will break, especially for the early adopters. Cars are really bad places for electronics in general so I wonder how this will hold up to the extremes of -10F and 100F as these values aren't out of the normal operating range cars are expected to perform in. Add to that the vibration from being opened and closed along with the standard road vibration and it seems like these things won't last long.
    • by 0123456 (636235)

      I wonder how this will hold up to the extremes of -10F and 100F

      I laugh at your idea of -10F being 'extreme'. -50F is starting to get unpleasantly cold (for us and our cars), but -10F is a nice winter's day.

      • For most people -10F is really cold and that is hard on electronics I chose those values as they would normally be considered extreme by most people. You might like Minnesota, we don't get quite that cold, but it can get down into the -30F range with -40F being record setting territory. Unless you are running some 0 weight oil -10F is hard on a car until it gets warm enough to have some good flow properties. Personally I like a nice crisp day where the temp is -10F with little to no wind.
        • Personally I like a nice crisp day where the temp is -10F with little to no wind.

          I respect your effort, but I'd like to point out that the Canadian to which you responded will object that -10F is not even close to crisp. The minimum conditions to satisfy "crisp" is -35F with 25 mph winds, and this is still considered brisk and invigorating.

    • Or how about a likely Canadian case : -15C on one side of the panel and +15 or 20 C on the other side? Most side window glass is tempered, not laminated, so it is am amorphous solid that can expand and contract more or less evenly, the tracks have a large enough tolerance to handle that, but would the embedded wires in *any* flat panel do the same? The lamination plastic film in windshields is pretty stretchy, so that is not a problem. Or an Arizona example : 110F outside, 50F inside, throw in a large valu
  • Anyone else notice the child was not wearing her safety belt? And if the child is always facing sideways over to mess with the touch-screen window then they won't be positioned very well for a crash.
    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      Said child isn't really in a moving car, it's all faked up to show someone's idea of what they might do if thy could actually get it to work...

    • by AdamThor (995520)

      My kid can't reach the glass in his legally mandated safety seat.

  • It sure seems like, at times, technology companies will fall in love with new tech, coming up with applications without considering whether it actually makes any sense.

    There are better and cheaper ways to use this technology, even for the described "problem". Put it on a tablet - using a tablet would be much more comfortable for the child than having to twist around sideways to play on the window. Remember, the kid is in a safety belt - and maybe even in a child car seat!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Gaah! This is just a concept w/ a pretty simulation. There's no technology for this currently nor even any indication that it will _ever_ be technologically feasible. It's just a "wouldn't it be cool if". Why do people treat these as if they are actual products in the making?

  • From the original Ghost in the Shell movie, the cars in it had display screens instead of windows. Instead of expensive / delicate glass, they could have a hard steel shell over the window, and a display inside that showed what the outside view was, without the fragility of glass. (It took an enhanced strength cyborg multiple hits to get through the front "windshield".)

    The potential of this is more than just structural - the display could show enhanced imagery, such as highlighting objects that might not

    • >> the display could show enhanced imagery
      We're all friends here, we know you mean heat boobs.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      It's been awhile, but in either the movie or TOS, didn't a terrorist kill people by blanking out their super high tech windows in high speed traffic?

      Even if it didn't happen that way, can you imagine a BSOD at speed?

  • by cvtan (752695) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @03:19PM (#36899954)
    Fingerprints!!!! The reason touch screens failed when they were introduced 25 years ago.
  • "and the child starts "drawing" on the window." - Mine already does this now...with boogers. /sigh
  • No longer will children be confined to condensation-inducing weather in order to draw cocks on windows. Truly, what wonders technology has wrought.

  • I like the second video in the article better. Much more realistic. Gotta get me one of those see through iPhones!
  • I'll have the wickedest minivan in sperm valley.

    The greatest joy of parenthood is watching them take their first steps into adulthood and then one day they realize that there is no money fairy.

    *sniff* revenge at last...

  • Meet the 1986 Buick Riviera, and its factory touch screen control panel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoYSCuAwPUg

  • This is still /. SO instead of all the bad ideas for some social reason, why not look at the technical issues.

    The distance measured does not change while the car is moving.

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @03:57PM (#36900440) Homepage

    Ads, overlaid on the real world. Inevitable with this technology.

  • and then you hit the brakes a blue screen comes saying something brakes.sys has caused a system error and then you end up a Toyota where the car stops taking input from the brakes, gas pedal and soft on / off key.

  • Obviously the creators of this idea have never traveled with a dog - specifically the nose of the dog...
  • So everyone will just surf the web on cartrips, or talk to each other, or have lunch together, with a different interior seat configuration.

  • Not sure if this is an issue in other countries, but here (NZ) we have nasty-looking, tattooed individuals who squirt your screen with guff and then wipe it off as soon as you get to the lights. I usually get my wipers going to discourage this sort of thing (once they lose a finger, they soon learn). But imagine the damage to a huge HUD display/touchscreen in the roadster....
    • by roc97007 (608802)

      > Not sure if this is an issue in other countries, but here (NZ) we have nasty-looking, tattooed individuals who squirt your screen with guff and then wipe it off as soon as you get to the lights.

      We have them in various parts of the US as well. And then they demand payment for smearing the bugs around on your window. Some can get really hostile if you don't give them something. Parenthetically, I've always wondered -- if they're homeless bums, how can they afford all the tattoos?

      Oops, I'm pretty sure

  • There's this wonderful invention called "paper." And another invention called "crayons."

  • The Corning ad was pretty interesting, other than the fact that it disregards computing power to do all the fancy graphics they show and the video via wireless phone probably won't be able to scale due to bandwidth issues, but the ad was great, a step beyond Minority Report even.

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