We are considering creating this package (this is the first concept drawing)for the GTM. The switch panel at the bottom would be our signature panel for the GTM (all functions would be on momentary switches with nice tactile feedback) and the screen would be AM/FM/CD/DVD/IPOD/XM and include NAV as an option. It would be a turn-key package and include our 1+1 System configured just for the GTM application with a Carbon Fiber cover for the Power Module. The switch panel would operate as a sequence of single (momentary for things like START) to several pushes to make each accessory operate. For example lights would be (push) parking lights turn on...(push) headlights turn on... (push) lights go off. The small "flags" at the top of each button would indicate the state of the item being operated. Everything would be backlit with blue LEDs except the Ignition button. That would be Amber or Red.
We would really appreciate everyone's feedback and honest interest if such a product existed...
[ May 09, 2006, 04:36 AM: Message edited by: I Squared Engineering ]
I would be interested if the price was right...especially in the switches. I think this would go a long way toward making the interior less "kit". How long until we can buy this? Keep up the good work.
__________________ Shane Vacek-VRaptor SpeedWorks, L.L.C. Supplier of Many Custom Products for the GTM! GTM's & SL-C's Custom Built for You! http://www.vraptorspeedworks.com
Very nice concept. I intend to build (am currently starting to look for a donor)and have already decided your wiring package would be my choice. If the panel has DVD as a standard, does that add much to the cost over and above the stereo system, as it isn't something I would normally do? Will the switch panel be able to handle all the options different builders might want (it appears to have only 2 accessory switches)? And of course I would evalute the cost vs other options. I would think high end builds would jump on it.
I like the concept, but have to agree with Jester. Some people have very large fingers so the contact area would need to be larger in my opinion too. And a pointing device for the screen would work, but I would loose it sooner or lator. Very Hi-Tech!
BUTTONS AND SCALE:
The panel will be scaled so that the buttons are the proper size relationship. As we said in the post, this drawing is for concept only and mostly just for the look. PLEASE tell us what you would consider a good size for the buttons.
There will be a full range of button legends. Please provide us with some feedback on this. We will do just a rendering of the button panel with all the correct legends if you guys would supply them.
The panel will be brushed aluminum and the buttons will be polished aluminum
This could be an option if there is enough interest
I think what you are doing is AWESOME, one thing i would really like is if you made this thing MODULAR.
I am very interested in the sweet custom switch panel for example that could be used to control various things in the car, but i am not sure if i want to go with your entertainment system just yet. I am planning on having a CarPC and think i can get way more for my money if i go that route instead of spending 2k+ on a 3rd party system with all of its peripherals that cost hundreds of dollars.
So i think if you can offer it as a whole and in parts that would rock! Dressed up modern switches with LED lights are cool and totaly belong in the GTM.
I like the ingenuity. I'm curious about the HVAC buttons... I prefer something simple and conventional like rotary knobs for the on/off, fan setting etc.
However this system is probably not for me.
I like separating my controls. For example, if I want to fiddle with the radio, the buttons are here on the dash... if I want to fiddle with the lights, the switches are over here... the HVAC---> right over there. Otherwise I get confused with a central cluster of buttons that I can't easily read or manipulate while cruising the highway at 80 mph.
Thanks for your efforts - I hope you follow through and release this solution.
If you'd allow, I have some suggestions.
First, your concept appears to utilize Alpine electronics. Would you consider looking at products from other manufacturers?
For the past three or four years, the Pioneers AVIC series, including the Z1 and D3 systems, have proven to be the market leader in GPS/car electronics design integration. As well, regarding the concerns raised about switchgear, the APEM switches you located earlier, and noted as top-quality, may be perfect for the console.
Thus, I suggest the console integrate your I-Squared wiring harness, an array of backlit aluminum APEM switches, with driver having the option to select a head unit - for example, I'm likely to install the Pioneer Z1, with all accessories. As well, I'm hoping that you'll design a CNC-cut, brushed aluminum bezel, with buyers electing the number of milled button holes drilled, to support their choice of accessories. I'm also hoping that you might allow for the integration of the RaceLogic console into your bezel, as a number of GTM drivers, myself included, are contemplating the purchase of that system.
As well, Dakota Digital has developed an LED HVAC control that can operate either Vintage Air or Hot Rod Air HVAC systems. You may wish to integrate their control into your console, unless you can find a way to add those controls to the touchscreen you have selected.
Finally, I'll suggest that you allow space for an Apple iPod or the Sirius S-50 dock.
The idea is great. I like the idea of using the Pioneer head unit. They have options for rear view camera, dvd, nav, etc... and the screen tucks away when not in use. If you made the unit with hvac and other controls with a properly sized DIN opening, people could use whatever unit that they wanted.
Move the headlight switch somewhere else. The thought of cruising down the road at night and reaching for the A/C and accidentally hitting the lights would suck. Especially if you have to hit the button twice (park lights, then headlights) to get some illumination back on the road. I had this happen to me in a Chevy Astro once because of bad switch placement and a clumsy operater. Could have easilly killed me and 3 good friends.
Joe™ If you want a museum piece get a real Cobra. If you want a car that is much better in all regards, get a replica.
pioneer makes 2 models, both called "ävic", the d2 and the n1(?).
one is a double-din, similar to the alpine above.
the other is a retractable face (what lamborghini used in the diablo 6.0
eclipse also makes competing models.
BUTTONS: again, they will be scaled to the corect size,it is JUST a concept drawing. The panel will come in several sizes... 1, 2, 4 and 6 switches to place on the dash where you need them and to prevent what was mentioned about pushing the wrong button at the wrong time..
Although a touchscreen that can control all the functions sounds nice.. not having the tactile feel is really BAD! Imagine how hard it is to change the volume by pressing a button on a screen compared to pressing a real button and then compare that to twisting a knob.
Some things just need to be real buttons/switches/knobs. Making an I-Drive like system that can work with various non standard systems like custom AC, etc.. is VERY difficult! and very expensive.
I have a Car PC in my current car and i really wish i had more real buttons to press as hitting the ones on the touchscreen is difficult sometimes. Especially when you have to hold your hand out and aim at it, you take your eyes off the road and every bump causes your finger to move and cause you to hit the wrong part of the screen!!!
Looks great, I agree with the sentiments here (needs larger buttons). Have you considered replacing the button names with symbols? The GTM may be a ways off from being bought overseas but maybe some of our non-English speaking/reading friends might want this.
[ May 10, 2006, 12:47 PM: Message edited by: Dr Death ]
button size could be similar to the typ ford stereo unit, gloved fingers can use it.
symbols should be accepted industry standards. none of the german-type indecipherable b.s.
the user interface functionality, and look, is crucial for this product's ultimate success. consider getting professional designer to help out with the ergonomics! this is not for engineer-types to design.
big companies like clarion consistently make lousy interfaces with small buttons and indeciferable controls. avoid this pitfall, and your market could be HUGE (encompassing the custom industry, as well as kit and replica makers).
go to any ford escape/expedition/focus. this is just for the button SIZE! not as a design suggestion.
since we're not talking about head units, just buttons, this may be irrelevant, but ergonomically, those ford head units are the easiest to use in the industry-in this humble industrial designer/architect's opinion.
as you point out, there really isn't anything quite like your concept out there, for the price.
A ride to the Ford dealer tomorrow, is in the plan. Thank you for pointing out the success that Ford has had with their human engineering. Every current day Ford I have sat in has led me to somehow know where the switches are by instict. I don't know how they do this but it's very cool... Thanks for the input...
I agree with Lev that the button module should be a separate item from the screen unit. I like the idea of a rear camera as the rear visibility in the GTM probably isn't the best. If possible, you may want to make changing out of the backlight LEDs easy for color customization.
I notice that you have both 'Heat' and 'A/C' buttons, but no mixer. Would it be possible to have a second cosmetic 'layer' with just the air mixer/fan control knobs? That way the entire 'comfort system' of the car would be in one homogenous look.
Would it be possible to have replaceable legends for the buttons? For example, I would like to have my ignition as a big red button (ala Honda S2000) and not on the control panel but somebody else likes the smooth integration. Maybe this could be done via a shine through strip of black plastic similar to dashboard warning lights. Just print up a sheet of same font, centered tags the width of the button that can be popped into place at the owner's whim. Circuits could then cover everything from 'Start' and 'Fog Lights' to 'Seat Warmer' and 'Back Massager'.
Wow, this looks good though. Glad to see that somebody is looking to make a system control unit that is as up-to-date as this car is. That is the one thing that always bugged me about grabbing a Vintage Air system was that even the most modern looking control panel from them looks like it belongs in the 70's.
You can\'t talk to a psycho like a normal human being.
I have a question regarding your 1+1 system. I am sure it will be fully integrated with the console panel. Does the lights have a auto on and off ? Like when it gets dark or when you turn on your wipers? How about interior lighting being on a delay? Or the radio stays on until you open the door, after you take the key out of the ignition?
What about keyless car, using a pad to enter a code for starting? Some trick stuff like that.
representations expressed are the representations and opinions of
the FFCars.com forum members and do not necessarily reflect the
opinions and viewpoints of the site owners, moderators, Factory Five
Racing, Inc. or Ford Motor Company. This website
has been planned and developed by FFCars.com and its forum members
and should not be construed as being endorsed by Factory Five
Racing, Inc. or Ford Motor Company for any
purpose. "FFR", "Factory Five", "Factory Five Racing", and the
Factory Five Racing logo are registered trademarks of Factory Five
Racing, Inc. FFCars.com forum members agree not to
post any copyrighted material unless the copyrighted material is
owned by you. Although we do not and cannot review the messages
posted and are not responsible for the content of any of these
messages, we reserve the right to delete any message for any reason
whatsoever. You remain solely responsible for the content of your
messages, and you agree to indemnify and hold us harmless with
respect to any claim based upon transmission of your message(s).
Thank you for visiting the FFCars.com Forum dedicated to Factory