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About touchscreens

This is your future speaking. If you’re lucky, you will grow old. When you get there, your skin will be drier. I’ve had Death-Valley-Desert-dry skin my whole life, and it only gets more so.

Guess how touchscreens react to very dry skin?

They don’t.

It can take me three or four swipes or taps on a phone, after breathing on my fingers to make them moister, before anything happens. By then, because I’m frustrated, it’s usually the wrong thing.

So, what am I saying? That touchscreens don’t work for a whole large part of the population. A part which is getting bigger, not smaller.

Now picture that kind of not-working in a car. You’re driving. The last thing you want to do is study a screen with stupid icons on it. And when it doesn’t turn on the A/C or close the windows, you have to study it again. When you look up, the two tons of metal you’re in are bearing down on a lane closure sign that the car is ignoring because, hey, it’s not moving. (I know. They’ll fix that someday. But then we’ll just move on to the next AI idiocy.)

That doesn’t even get into the topic of tactile feedback and muscle memory and how necessary they are to maintain situational awareness when driving. All those levers and buttons and knobs and steering wheel and pedals allow you to use a different part of your brain for control of the car so that your eyes and ears and frontal cortex are available for the unexpected. It’s called human factors engineering. The electric car makers ought to try it sometime.

Right now I have an old car. So old, you open the windows with one of those little hand cranks. My relationship with my phone is bad enough that I’ve often thought I should give up and get myself a cocktail sausage to use as a stylus. Then I imagine trying to run a car with a cocktail sausage.

Koreans wearing gloves in winter, using sausages on their phones.
4 Comments (Open | Close)

4 Comments To "About touchscreens"

#1 Comment By Earlynerd On 22 May, 2021 @ 02:33

Old keyboardist here. Mouse hater, touchscreen loather.

Much as I respect the non-USAian rest of the world’s techo-prowess, I am so there with you on this.

Costco sells *gloves* that accommodate this bug. Geeks want it not to have happened in the first place.

#2 Comment By Earlynerd On 22 May, 2021 @ 02:37

Also, just bought the first non manual tranny vehicle I’ve ever owned in my life. Under duress. No decent manuals available.

#3 Comment By Earlynerd On 22 May, 2021 @ 11:40

[Edited to add]


#4 Comment By quixote On 22 May, 2021 @ 13:43

Yeah. Touchscreen gloves. Another thing to buy, with money, and make sure you never misplace. Bah, humbug.

Seriously. It’s up to the manufacturers to make usable tactile controls. It’s not up to us, who’ve already paid them megabucks for their product, to pay more bucks to compensate for gumball design choices.