Monday, October 25, 2004

Skinnable Car Dashboards

I read something the other day about Microsoft getting more involved with the automotive industry, as in having Windows run on automotive electronics or something (this probably wouldn't be a full GUI version of Windows, but probably more like Windows for Smartcards). This made me remember an idea that I had a while ago.

I think that car dashboards (instrument clusters) should be skinnable. The whole dashboard can be a LCD panel, and users can apply skins to change the layouts and the look-and-feel of the dashboard.

Folks good at user interface design can create new skins for dashboards like they do today for other skinnable applications, like Windows Media Player, WinAmp, etc.

I'm sure that there's certain safety factors that must be adhered to, so perhaps skins will need to be validated before they can actually be installed. But each vehicle will be supplied with several factory-provided skins.