02-10-2009, 11:42 AM
Just as some web portals can be skinned to change the look and feel, allow the center and driver displays to be changed by skinning (using simple HTML/css techniques) and uploaded via a USB drive. Allow the factory default skin to be copied to a USB drive so it can be used as a starting point for the "weekend webcoder".
However, always allow it to be rest to the factory skin using a physical button or button sequence.
This would be a great way for non-gear heads to be able to personalize their car.
02-10-2009, 12:57 PM
I believe the designers have mentioned that something like this will possible. What I'm not sure is whether the car will come with several preloaded "skins" for the user to choose from (most likely) or if there will be the option of downloading pre-made skins (not very likely because of the risk of corrupting the entire vehicle's computer system) or whether the user will be able to build their own skin from a set of loaded factory tools is unknown. However they have told us ever since Volt Nation that there would be user customization to the displays of some sort.
02-10-2009, 01:04 PM
If the "skinnable display" concept includes the ability to display additional information regarding the status and operation of the vehicle, I am all for it. If it is nothing more than cosmetic changes - adding "fluff" graphics and changing some colors - why bother?
02-10-2009, 01:46 PM
I figure that people will want to personalize it - like themed to their favorite sports (or in my case, racing) team, or their favorite colors, or their favorite TV show, etc. even if it is just changing colors and fluff graphics. Same as people do for their phones, iPods, social networking web pages, and other electronic devices.
Although, I'm not at all against building custom dislays regaurding the status and operation of the vehicle - or even getting other information from the internet through OnStar (should one choose to pay for that service). Well OK, now I'm starting to complicate it a bit too much.
02-10-2009, 02:43 PM
What I'm hoping for is that they focus on the basics and get it solid.
Then release software updates to the user (maybe quarterly or something). That way they can add these additional features and make the perceived value of the vehicle go up. Imagine a vehicle that doesn't go "stale" after you buy it.
02-15-2009, 01:59 PM
They need not stop at skins. They should go all out and release their source code for the entire display and make the car as customizable as possible while still maintaining factory settings and control necessary for safe and reliable operation.
Use a *nix OS or develop a custom one and release the source code for it, and have the community develop skins and applications for it. This is a new type of car, developed transparently, and GM needs to accept that "stock" just isn't what many people want. Sure, many drivers will not want to tinker with it. That's fine- but open it up to the geek community so people can easily customize it and develop software for it.
The center console is the perfect location for a Carputer. GM should take that Carputer concept and make something more than just a drivetrain status console. Continue down this exciting path of transparency, and make it the first OPEN SOURCE car.