Tuesday, April 16, 2002

iDrive: Kuro5hin has a thought-provoking review article about the new driver interface for automobiles developed by BMW for their 7-series cars. Instead of multiple buttons, levers, and dials to control a car's functions, the BMW iDrive uses a single "haptic" force feedback controller to take the place of the gearshift, handbrake, and the numerous other input devices that control a car's navigation, entertainment, and driver environment. Although the learning curve takes several hours, it could significantly alter the driving experience in the same way the GUI's revolutioned computer user experience for those used to the command line interface. Or given that it's based on Windows CE, it could just turn out to be a huge marketing flop.