The ability to minimize the front end to get to the desktop periodically. Love Carwings Dynamic for this.
Through a in depth, comprehensive set of pre-defined phrases, we hope to be able to control everything that has to do with your carpc.
Originally Posted by JQFletcher
The vision is to be able to sit in your car in the morning, and have it give you an audible report. Tell you the forcast for the day, alert you if there are any traffic backups on your pre-defined trip to work, check your gas level and let you know if you need to stop on your way to, or from work to get gas. The system would also alert you to the nearest and cheapest gas station.
That is just the beginning of the voice control functions we hope to fully develop.
Matthew -UG Dev
So I have looked at every frontend in the mp3car.com forum, and I have yet to see a really clean, nice system. With "Ultimate" I plan on rethinking the wheel, because the wheel as I see it is not any good. I do not wish to take away from the hard work that all the creators of the frontends have done, but I think we need to do something different.
If you look at Windows Media Center, Palm WebOS, XBOX 360, upcoming Windows Mobile 7, Apple's Frontrow, etc you see very clean, very easy to use interfaces, that serve their individual purposes. That is because they have months, even years of research and development behind those interfaces. Usually CarPC frontends do not. I plan on drawing from the above mentioned interfaces and creating a really nice/creative.
I am debating between weather or not to build touch screen support into this project. I am a huge fan of the Griffin Powermate. I would like to base the entire interface to be controlled with that device.
Now I understand that most people will be frustrated that I have chosen this route with this front end. But I think a frontend that is stable, and properly functions is a higher priority than if each any every user is satisfied. So there will also not be any gadgets or ways to customize what is on each screen. There will be a page dedicated to launching external applications.
The debate is still in the air as to which OS to use, and which programing language to use. This will all be decided on which is most compatible with all of the feature that will be in the frontend and which are compatible with the individual API's.
Thank you to all for your support and input on this project.
Touchscreen control is just a matter of skinnability, which IMO if you don't support you won't succeed. As for OS, why not go cross platform? There are several languages (the fastest and most cross compatable of which is c++) that support cross platform programs. I highly recommend you check out Qt. It's a full featured yet lightweight toolkit (IF the program is written correctly). A frontend written with Qt can run super fast on even the slowest hardware.
Road Runner IS the ultimate front end!!!! LMAO!
It's relatively easy to make stuff cross platform nowadays, there's no need to limit this to just Linux or Windows.
Looks nice, but the buttons in the middle are too small. Stare at something a foot away from your monitor (the "road), reach up to your screen, and press play, without bumping the Nav, forward, or rewind buttons, and without taking your eyes off the "road" for more than once quick glance.
I'm a huge fan of tactile input devices, and I bought two Powermates, but I still wouldn't give up my touch screen. Just gotta be conscious of how to design for it.
Originally Posted by UnusuallyGenius
IMO it would help to have only a few buttons on each screen split up UI into multiple screens if necessary. Set aside a portion of the screen for a small set of buttons that never changes, so users can operate them without looking (mute, back, nav, music...). No scroll bars ever - drag the list box content instead.
How would you use a Powermate to operate the buttons in the simulated screenshots above?
Another vote for Touchscreen and WindowsOS here.
No problem with the main screen for a start. Dont know how much "Video" is being played on car pc's to warrant it on the main screen though ?
I know what I happen to use is 1) XM/Sirius/HD radio 2) Playlist Audio and 3) Nav (in that order). Im rarely going to System level things on a regular basis, so might as well use the screen real estate for what is mostly used.
Ive seen a lot of work on media selection (arrows, scrolling, throwing lists, dials, Ipod alphabet zoom) which is all well and good, but have yet to see a well done Radio screen. Most try to show whats playing on a bunch of stations, but if you are going to go that route it really limits the number os stations you can show at once on a 7 inch screen and keep them visible (text large enough to read while driving) so it hasnt worked out well as far as Im concerned.
What Id like to see is better attention to that aspect (the Sat radio). Most either give you an arrow to scroll through stations, but then you still have to touch the station to hear whats playing, or they give you a small amount of way to small preset buttons. Either way, its not easy to just cruise through the Sat radio dial.
There's a reason why car radios evolved with buttons :-) If you store a station in the second position on FM2, you know where it is without looking. I guess Id want a Sat Radio subscreen with like 36 or so nice large preset buttons the bottom right of which just jumps from whatever station your on to the next one in your favorites and immediately starts playing that station (most media playback screens do this, and some UI's keep that visible at all times, but when your playing Sat Radio and you hit the "next track button" nothing happens). While you are at it, add one button that brings up an OSK number pad with enter key so you can key in a one two or three digit station and hit enter and it goes directly to that station and disappears.
That bit above about keeping an easily used regular set of controls to jump to the next track in the playlist or next station on Sat Radio favorites in the smae position on all screens would be a plus.