TOUCHSCREEN IN AUTOMOBILE

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When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, it had become Apple’s first ever smartphone and also had become a global phenomenon. The phone is a smartphone and sway away from the traditional keypad phone to a full touchscreen phone. It is something a revolutionary at that time and now the touchscreen system had come in many various forms such as the ATM machine, kiosk machine, computer, laptop, and much more. Even the automobile industry infotainment system had implemented touchscreen in their car and now most of the new car have a touchscreen system and any touch recognition system such as the new iDrive and also the Mercedez Benz command.

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The full touchscreen iPhone introduced by Steve Jobs in 2007

The touchscreen smartphone had been launched in 2007 but the first touchscreen in the car is way back in late 80’s where the American car maker Buick had implemented this touchscreen in their 1987 model Buick Rivera where it was a 3 * 4-inch screen that can run a vehicle diagnostic and also provide information on the car brake, powertrain and electrical system and like the iPhone it was something that is revolutionary during that time. But unfortunately unlike the iPhone that had become a global phenomenon, the Buick Rivera touchscreen system is not popular at that time and it had abandoned since then.

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The first touchscreen for car in Buick Rivera 

But the thing had changed now as every car have a touchscreen system as previously mentioned. Long gone the day where the car has radio cassette and also CD player and now all the car can provide or display information that is useful to the user and also implement the latest technologies in their car and make it as one of their selling points.

And with the touchscreen they are several advantages to it. The touchscreen in the car usually have a bigger display such as 8 inches or 10 inches and currently, Tesla Model S have the biggest touchscreen in the car to date with a monstrous 17-inch display. With the bigger screen, it will provide a better rear view for the user when they are reversing the car and some car manufacturer had taken this to implement the muti-view reverse camera or rear alert system in their car.

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The enormous 17-inch screen in Tesla Model S

With a bigger screen, some of the latest technologies for the car such as the HDMI, MirrorLink , Android Auto, Apple CarPlay , and Bluetooth can be implemented. The Bluetooth had come before the touchscreen become popular but with the bigger display, the system can provide the display on the car touchscreen system on who is making an incoming call or to whom they are making an outgoing call. The HDMI can use the smartphone HDMI port to display phone screen in the touchscreen itself and the user can also now view the popular navigation system such as Google Maps or Waze in the car touchscreen that can provide a bigger display. Although some car provides their own navigation system but most the user prefers Google Maps and Waze. And the with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay that had been created to give a car specific application depend on the user choice of smartphone, more car specific app can be implemented in the future.

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The touchpad iDrive controller 

With the touchscreen system, the system now can provide the user several option and information that is useful for them. This is long cry from the day where the user unable to make any changes to their car system but now thing had changed as the user of the car can set the alarm system, smart key system, what to display in the infotainment system, using the website, Youtube, social media, concierge service, teleservices, display the car engine information, watching movie, WIFI,the battery information if it is hybrid car, the average fuel consumption, and many more. This will provide the user a control on their car where previously it is not.

But like all technologies they are a disadvantage on this touchscreen for the car. The first of all that if the touchscreen had been malfunctioned or the user does not like the manufacturer system then it will costly to change the touchscreen system as it can cost the user a minimum RM800 to RM2000 or more to change this. Although this amount does not necessary broke the wallet or the bank of the user it is still expensive for an infotainment system.

Since the touchscreen uses our finger as pointing device the touchscreen is prone the fingerprint smudges and it definitely not liked by any user who is using the touchscreen especially it can see clearly in the broad daylight or during light in the dark. This is something that the designer of the touchscreen is trying to prevent and for now, they are no any guaranteed method to remove the fingerprint smudges and the only way to remove this is for the user to manually clean it and it can be quite annoying.

The car infotainment had come a long way from just to listening radio, video cassette, CD player and from no display to now provide several options for the user. With Apple and Google had provided the CarPlay and Android Auto respectively they will be more car specific in the future. When Apple introduced iPhone in 2007 they had only 12 apps in their AppStore but now they are more than billion apps in the AppStore and the same thing can happen for the car too. In the future, they will be a car specific app that will be globally popular like WhatsApp, Waze, Instagram, MSQRD and much more.

All this can be implemented because of the touchscreen and also the technologies and program that is associated with it. It absolutely amazing when Buick implemented the touchscreen in their model it was not accepted during that time but now the life without touchscreen technologies is not possible anymore but become a requirement for all the designer and manufacturer of the product such as ATM, computer,laptop, smartphone, kiosk machine and now the car. The world definitely had changed since the introduction of the touchscreen iPhone.

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