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Jony Ive doesn’t think your car should rely on multitouch

Jony Ive isn’t a fan of cars using too many touchscreen controls, and says they’re an example of an interface “being driven inappropriately by something like multitouch.”

During a panel with the former Apple design lead, Tim Cook, and Laurene Powell Jobs at Vox Media’s Code conference tonight, journalist Kara Swisher asked Ive what he thought of current design trends. Ive said that there were “fabulous affordances with interfaces like multitouch,” but said that they may have gone too far in places — and it might be time for a shift back toward more physical controls.

“Potentially the pendulum may swing a little to have interfaces and products that are more tactile and more engaging physically,” Ive said. Swisher suggested that cars were an example of where multitouch has been overused, and Ive responded “for example.”

As more and more cars use touchscreens for things like climate or even drive controls, there’s been debate over whether ditching physical buttons and knobs decreases driver safety. Recently, Swedish publication Vi Bilagare fueled the debate with a test that measured how long it took people to do certain tasks such as adjusting the radio or temperature. The publication declared that physical buttons outperformed touchscreens.

Swisher followed up her question by asking Ive how he would design a car. Laughing, he told her “you know I can’t talk to you about that.”


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