Hey, remember those digital speedometers that some cars sported back in the 70s and 80s? You know, the ones that displayed your speed in huge flashing digits? The problem, of course, is that the display flickered at you every time you went faster or slower, which was practically all the time. Annoying as heck.
So when a colleague told me that QNX was working on a digital instrument cluster, my first reaction was "You've got to be kidding." But I spoke too soon; this thing is cool:
The cluster in this video was still being developed when the video was shot, so stay tuned: I hope to provide some updated videos or screenshots in the next few days. [Postscript: Since posting this entry, I've added some screenshots here and here.]
One thing I like about digital instrument clusters is that they're context sensitive: Put the car in drive, and you see a navigation display. Put it in reverse and you see a backup camera. And if they're done right, digital clusters can minimize driver distraction, since everything you need is right in front of you. No more looking over at a separate navigation screen or infotainment system -- everything is, quite literally, clustered in front of you.
And, besides, unlike your dad's digital speedometer, they're way cool.
BTW, QNX will be demoing this cluster -- along with some other very cool stuff -- at next week's Convergence 2008 automotive show, October 20 - 22. If you're in Detroit, check it out.