We actively look out opportunities for design collaboration with other consultancies. On this occasion we teamed up with London based Japan experts The Division, run by David Tonge.
We undertook a research study for a major Japanese auto company. We combined our particular areas of expertise and David’s in-depth understanding of Japan, to provide a comprehensive analysis.
Our study and outputs proved to be very thought provoking and challenged the client design team to rethink their approach to the interaction between drivers, and passengers, and their vehicle.
This way of working, combining expertise from different disciplines, is a rewarding experience, and getting the chance to work with experts like The Division extremely enjoyable.
THE INTERNET OF THINGS
The Internet of Things – electronic devices communicating to each other via the internet mean that we are able to go seamlessly from one area of our lives to the next. Leave the house and the heating lowers, music system turns off, but the same song is playing on your smart phone. On entering your car the music switches to the car sound system, social accounts are accessed and made available, eradicating the need to refer to mobile devices, the accessibility of these being limited to suitable times for safety reasons, and emergency alerts passed on at an appropriate time.
TECHNOLOGY IN CAR INTERIORS
The advancement of technology in the consumer market is incredibly quick, and rapid product cycles allow for these updates to be incorporated swiftly into new and updated products such as mobile phones. In the automotive industry one of the largest components, and therefore one with the longest lead times, is the dashboard and instrument panel, and this means that the technology is evolving quicker than is always possible to incorporate in the latest car. This combined with the longer life cycle of a car than say a mobile device means that the ability of car manufacturers to keep a pace with developments is difficult.
Therefore automotive companies are obviously looking at ways to incorporate these products, such as tablets, into their interiors in order to use the latest technology releases.
What is clear is devices are designed for their intended environment and use. When they are substituted into other environments like a car interior, at the very least their effectiveness is reduced, through to being totally impractical or downright dangerous. Also this narrow approach where it seems all that needs to happen is to create a device carrier in the centre console, is missing opportunities to make the technology work to improve the experience of the car driver.
SCALING and FILTERING INTERFACE
The single physical control is to filter information, and increase or decrease the amount information the driver requires. The touch screen buttons enlarge due to frequency of use, move closer to the driver, altering switches to the individual’s needs. How the relevant information is displayed from display area to heads up display, depends on the relevance of the data to driver or passenger.
It is this sort of design collaboration with other consultancies that brings benefits to all involved, especially your clients.
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