Today, Apple designer Jony Ive turns 47. One of the threads of his incredible career has been a passion for hot wheels. Before going on to become one of the world’s most famous designers, Jony Ive went to London’s Central Saint Martins Art School fueled by an early passion to design cars. Eventually, though, he took a detour that led him to revolutionize design in personal technology.
Apple hasn’t gotten around to making an iCar yet, but Jony’s passion for automobiles is still revved up and cruising for thrills. The famed designer hasn’t been afraid to fork over some fat stacks for a nice car on a whim – even if one of his brutal beauties almost cost him his life – and has gathered a nice little collection of luxury cars over the years.
It feels like it’s taken forever for Siri Eyes Free — the in-car Siri functionality first unveiled in 2012 — to actually start popping up in a meaningful number of cars, but the new ad for the Chevrolet Equinox highlights Siri Eyes Free functionality in the wild… and shows how it can go horribly, horribly wrong for you.
Got a car? Got an iPhone? Like to tap away at the iPhone screen and distract yourself instead of watching the road ahead and earning the trust that pedestrians and cyclists put in your every time they venture out onto the road? Then I have good news! Now you can careen down the highway, secure in the knowledge that your precious iPhone will never slip off the dash, nor even deviate from it’s perfectly-chosen angle.
Google’s algorithmically-driven cars may be partially designed to give commuters more time to surf the Internet (using Google, natch!), but if a new report from ABI Research is anything to go by, it’s Apple who have the real early adopter advantage in terms of connected in-vehicle infotainment systems.
ABI Research forecasts that shipments of such infotainment systems, equipped with one or more smartphone integration technologies, will grow substantially over the next five years — reaching 35.1 million units globally by 2018. Of these, ABI projects an impressive 49.8% will be running Apple’s “iOS in the Car”, the standard for allowing iOS devices to work with manufacturers’ built-in in-car systems as unveiled during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference back in June.
Just like those isolated soldiers that used to be discovered from time to time thinking that WWII was still on, years after it had ended, there’s a designer hidden deep in the offices of Porsche who thinks we still need to use USB thumb drives. Yes, it looks beautiful, just like Hiroo Onoda’s doubtlessly crisply-pressed uniform, but that doesn’t make it right.
At this point, 2K Games is the most hotly anticipated iOS game publisher in existence. They’ve done huge things on the iPad, like bringing a full-on console game to the iPad with XCOM: Enemy Unknown and helping develop legend Sid Meier’s latest strategy game, Ace Patrol — which just happens to be iPad-only. Now it looks like they’re set to take the whole iPad auto-racing genre and blow it out of the water with their latest project, 2K Drive, developed by Lucid Games.
Take a look at the latest developer’s diary teaser clip (above), with its crazy soccer ball-dribbling driving, Bonneville Salt Flats land-speed record car and a Mazda Miata driving on what looks like a wooden roller-coaster platform, and you’ll see what I mean.
One of the most hopeful promises of augmented reality is that it will eventually help us understand the world immediately around us. I’ve always thought one of the best uses of AR technology in this respect was its application to cars: Pan your phone or tablet across an engine bay, for instance, and an AR app will tell you where to put oil or coolant, or which bolts to remove in order to access the battery.
Audi brought us a little closer to this (augmented) reality today with the release of an AR companion app, using technology from German-based AR powerhouse Metaio, for its entry-level A3 that explains features in the cabin and engine bay.
Back In The Day™, when men were men, cars were cars and boys were forced to work to support their families before their stupid brains were even half developed, we fixed automobiles by kicking their tires and sucking our teeth.
Fast forward to the Space Year 2013 and cars now repair themselves. All you have to do is take it to a repair shop, where they plug it into a computer which sucks the money from your bank account while you take a spin in a “courtesy” car.
But what if you want to tinker? If you own a Ford and an iPad, and don’t mind getting your hands (literally) dirty, then you’ll be happy to hear that there’s a (concept) app for that.
As I never tire of telling people, I do all my work using an iPad. Research, communication, writing and photo editing – all of these are now second nature for me on both the iPad mini and the full-sized iPad 3. I love the portability, I love the stripped-down “workflow” which lets me get stuff done way faster than I can on the Mac, mostly due to lack of OS X’s inherent distractions.
In fact, I am so happy with the iPad as a work machine that I thought that I’d never buy another Mac. I figured that, by the time my iMac died, iOS would have caught up with most of the “truck” tasks I still need to do: keeping a big photo library, running a BitTorrent client.
So why am I writing this post on a brand-new MacBook Air? One thing: My arm is fucking killing me.
Despite the fact that you’ll probably end up killing someone because of it, you’re going to keep using your phone in the car. With this in mind, I bring tidings of the Airframe from Kenu, a tiny smartphone mount which clips to the louvers of your car’s ventilation holes and hugs the phone tightly. The idea is that your iPhone is now secure and convenient, making it less likely that you’ll mow down a cyclist while you try to compose a Tweet.