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The Best of New Age Car Touch Screens

The Best of New Age Car Touch Screens

“Big is better” is definitely the mantra for car touchscreens these days. So much so that manufacturers are launching “new” models with the biggest change being a larger touchscreen. While most credit Steve Jobs for bringing touchscreens into our lives, let me introduce you to the Buick Riviera, which debuted in 1986 with a 9-inch Graphic Control Center (GCC). The Riviera had a green and black cathode ray tube display, which was considered cutting edge at the time.

While the Americans denounced the touchscreen and criticized it as an insecure feature, the Japanese took up the mantle and pioneered much of what we see now, both in looks and features. The 1990 Mazda Eunos Cosmo was the first mass-produced car to be equipped with touchscreen navigation. Other Japanese manufacturers, such as Toyota and Mitsubishi, also began offering touchscreen-based navigation and music systems in a handful of their models in the early 1990s.

The screens were an inch or two wide at the time and were limited to high-end cars. Things gained momentum after smartphones became ubiquitous in the early 2000s and people started getting used to the pocket-sized touchscreen on their cell phones. Automakers and consumer electronics brands realized that touch was the next frontier. Today, cars in every price range, shape and size come with at least one kind of touchscreen, and the future is bright in 4K. We look at some of the dazzling touchscreens offered in cars in India, and some others that will set a new benchmark for cars.

Mercedes Benz Hyperscreen

The Hyperscreen, which makes its debut as an option in the new EQS from Mercedes-EQ, is rightly called a ‘jewel of interior design’ by the German luxury brand. Under one 56-inch, gently curved piece of glass, three separate screens merge into one. Integrated mood lighting gives MBUX Hyperscreen a floating appearance on top of the dashboard. The clear and minimalistic design helps give EQS passengers intelligent access to available and suggested functions at any time, while the brightness adapts to the lighting conditions in the interior. Unmonitored image pixels remain disabled so they appear deep black, while active OLED pixels shine with high color brilliance.

MBUX Hyperscreen boasts impressive computing power: eight CPU cores, 24 gigabytes of RAM and 46.4 gigabytes per second of RAM memory bandwidth are among the impressive technical highlights. Twelve actuators are located below the touchscreen surfaces to provide haptic feedback. Using artificial intelligence, the display and operating system can fully adapt to the user for a range of personalized suggestions, controls and entertainment. Mercedes Benz claims that the MBUX Hyperscreen is truly customizable and has much higher levels of connectivity, allowing for new forms of interactivity and individuality. It’s only a matter of time before we see the Hyperscreen debut in other Mercedes models and perhaps become the benchmark for touchscreens in cars.

BMW Theating screen

We know that BMWs are the choice of movie stars, and the Bavarian brand brings the movie experience to their cars. BMW Theater Screen is a 31-inch ultra-wide panorama display in 32:9 format with a resolution of up to 8K. This super cool display fully integrates with Amazon Fire TV, allowing passengers to stream their favorite movies, TV shows and music while traveling. The catch for now is that it needs 5G connectivity. However, the Theater Screen is more than just a screen and streaming system; it basically transforms the aft cabin into a complete home theater on wheels – the blinds close, the light slowly dims and the screen slides out of the sky with a Hans Zimmer-composed symphony playing on the integrated Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System. iX, the new electric SUV from BMW, is the first model to have the BMW Theater Screen as an option.

Porsche curved display

Only a few holy brands can match what Porsche offers in terms of performance, but the German sports car maker is a bit behind on touchscreens. The Taycan, Porsche’s first fully electric car, is a major step forward for the company in that sense. The sporty Taycan has a beautiful 16.8-inch curved driver display that can be configured to display various functions, be it navigation maps or your music playlist. A central 10.9-inch infotainment display and an optional passenger display combine to form an integrated black-panel-look glass band that looks great. For the first time in the Taycan, front passengers have the option of their own touchscreen, so they can easily change settings without distracting the driver. The raised center console features a large 8.4-inch touchscreen with haptic feedback. This allows the air conditioning settings to be changed directly. Integrated handwriting recognition also enables fast address entry. The three screens, combined, give the Taycan an impressively modern look and feel, compared to older Porsche models.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

While the older and electric brother EQS gets the Hyperscreen, the new generation C-Class has inherited the interior and touchscreens from the current generation S-Class. The new C-Class comes with an 11.9-inch infotainment system with upright touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, the largest in the segment. The infotainment screen features the latest version of the MBUX infotainment system (NTG7). Tilted slightly towards the driver, the large screen and MBUX system are logically laid out. The climate control settings remain fixed at the bottom of the screen regardless of the functions selected in the top half, making quick changes to fan speed and temperature easy. A capacitive touch bar below the screen switches between driving modes and there’s even a biometric fingerprint scanner, supporting up to seven user profiles.

Audi Urbansphere Concept

Interior

Audi’s designers and engineers initially designed the urbansphere concept for use in traffic-dense Chinese megacities and of course realized that this was not a specific problem for China. Most major cities suffer from a lack of personal space and the car can be more than just a means of transport. Everything has been designed inside out, with comfort and luxury for the passengers being central. Four individual seats in two rows provide luxurious, first-class comfort and keep you spinning. In the Relax and Entertain positions, you ensure that the backrest reclines up to 60 degrees while the leg rests rise at the same time. When passengers want to use the infotainment system together in the urban atmosphere, there is a large-sized and transparent OLED screen that pivots vertically from the roof to the zone between the rows of seats. This ‘cinema screen’, which spans the entire width of the interior, allows the two passengers in the back row to participate in a video conference or watch a movie together. Even split-screen use is possible. When the screen is not in use, the transparent design offers an unobstructed view to the front or, when folded up, to the sky through the glass roof.

LG Omnipod Concept

With combustion engines disappearing, it’s no surprise that consumer electronics companies are eager to enter the EV mobility space. LG presented the Omnipod concept at CES 2022, an ambitious look at how screens will play an increasingly important role in vehicles. Like many futuristic car concepts, LG’s Omnipod is filled with screens. Not only the dashboard or the front panels, as in a normal car, but even the sides and ceiling of this concept car are screens. LG calls it an ‘expansive tunnel screen’ or ‘Meta-environment screen’, in which the car wants to immerse the passengers in a virtual environment. The floor-to-ceiling screen features modes such as home, work, cinema, all of which help you set the mood and play content. This is just a concept though, the question is how much too much screen is even for the most avid touchscreen fans.

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