The trouble with touch screens

  • Infiniti Q50 touch screen close up
  • Infiniti Q50 touch screen cleaning cloth
  • Infiniti Q50 interior
  • Infiniti Q50 rear
  • Infiniti Q50 front
Date:4 November 2013 Author: Anthony Doman Tags:, ,

Infiniti’s new Q50 sedan features some intriguing innovations that raise the bar for automotive technology. Most obvious is its steer-by-wire system, a first in a production car and an indicator of how far along the road we are to self-driving cars. But there’s something less obvious that is almost more in your face: its dual touch screen.

Normally, cars use a single screen for viewing programme material (such as the sat-nav or video) or for gaining access to vehicle controls. The Q50 has a dual-screen setup. That means you don’t have to exit what you’re viewing to allow you to click some virtual control buttons. The control panel is always at your disposal, which is great.

But of course it’s a touch screen. And the trouble with touch screens is that you have to touch them.

This statement of the blindingly obvious began to penetrate my consciousness as I was taking pictures of the car’s interior. When you look at the screen from straight ahead you see, well, just the screen. From the side, what you see is a reflection – and a mass of fingermarks. Which explains the inclusion, in the car’s standard feature list, of a cloth to keep the screen clean and easier to see.

As this is no ordinary display, so the cloth is no ordinary cloth. Very specific instructions are provided (“Before wiping the surface, brush any sand or dust off the surface in order to prevent any damage…”). It comes with care instructions, too.

Roll on the touchless touch screen…

  • The impressive Q50 is the vanguard of a revitalised, Euro-oriented range that should hit South Africa’s shores early next year. See our impressions of the vehicle’s world launch drive in Barcelona, Spain, plus a detailed report on the technology – the really serious technology – in Popular Mechanics January 2014.