• Aug 31, 2007
"We have been working with Apple on control interfaces."

That's a direct quote from, not Martin Winterkorn at Volkswagen, but Ian Callum, the design director for Jaguar, as quoted by CAR magazine. Callum says Jaguar's new XF's start button "starts to pulsate" when the driver gets into the car. Once running, the car's hidden air vents "rise up" and the JaguarDrive Selector pops up from the console. Actual buttons are kept to a min.

Sounds all very high-tech and somewhat Apple-like. The pulsating start button is very reminiscent of Apple computers' power indicator lights.

So now we have Apple confirmed to be working with Jaguar and rumored to be working with Volkswagen and Mercedes. Another item of interest we came across in researching this post is a Macrumors story which says it heard about the CAR interview with Callum from Macrumors reader -- get this -- Chris Bangle. Could it be? Nah.

Thanks for the tip, Chris!

[Source: CAR Magazine via Macrumors]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Apple categorically doesn't do things like this.

      I can't really go into details, but let me put it this way:

      Apple makes a lot of money off of user interfaces and sees them as a way to differentiate and make money. Helping other companies improve their interfaces doesn't make Apple money.

      Is Jaguar really this desperate that they have to try to falsely leverage another companies' brand image to sell their cars?
      • 7 Years Ago
      But this isn't competing with Apple's computer interface, and it is possible that they paid Apple for their design services.

      Perhaps it is correct that Apple had no official hand in it, but that Jaguar designers cite Apple as an inspiration in their original design.

      I always thought that the C-XF gear knob looked like a cross between my Griffin Technologies PowerMate aluminum volume knob for my mac, and the Genesis Device control from Star Trek 2, the Wrath of Khan.

      Less button clutter, and more intuitive control is fine by me, either way.

      I wonder if the gear selector knob retracts into the console again, when traveling at speed. It isn't like you are going to shift into park or reverse above 5mph, and there is no 1 or 2 below "D".
      • 7 Years Ago
      The VW Phaeton had automatic air vents as well - this is nothing new.

      I really doubt that apple had anything to do with this car -
      apple typically goes in with the intent of radically changing the way something is done - nothing in the description indicates that this has happened
      • 7 Years Ago
      rising air vents. have you seen a more useless feature.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'd much rather have an integrated Apple TV with display that would automatically sync when I pulled into the driveway.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You know what?

      I could crash my car fiddling with the bloody iPod while I drive. A telephone keypad that scrolled me to the artists/ albums/ songs I want to hear by selecting letters is much faster, requires less interaction and less eyes-off-the-road time.

      What next Jag, spray the interior all white?

      Ian, why do you think that iDrive failed? Too many layers of menus to click through to turn down the bloody radio!

      Jesus!
        • 7 Years Ago
        you moron... the drive shifter knob in the xf controls only the gear selection Park Reverse Neutral Drive Sport...
        that is it... there is nothing like iDrive... and the touch screen for the other car functions are related by most to be the best in the business... (but their are paddle shifters for adventurous)
        • 7 Years Ago
        again u dont get it... the problem with idrive was that there was limited redundancy with the controls... so to change everyday stuff u had to go through a bunch of layers... but... the xf has the redundant manual controls... and if it improves the xk system that i have played with... it is the best in the business... and one more thing... how can someone expect to control the vast number of featured we demand from a modern luxo car without modal organization and layering...
        • 7 Years Ago
        Um. I was referring to the worthlessness of the iPod interface as a prototype for the operation of various in-car functions while driving, per the quote of Ian Callum, not the XF gear selector.

        That is to say - my comment was on the quote, not the picture.

        My further point was that multiple layering of menus to control various functions - a-la iDrive - has proved a fairly unpopular solution.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Richard, your argument makes no sense. The iPod interface is meant for a handheld MP3 player- if you happen to use it in the car thats your choice but the iPod interface was not designed to be used in a car.

        Why do you think the iPhone interface is so radically different - yeah because the interface was designed for use as a phone.

        If apple designed an interface for a car you can bet that it would be well thought out and nothing like the iPods interface.

        Telephone keypad on an mp3 player just so you can select the fist letter of an artist, lol, good luck with that.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Listen, Rosie O'Donnell,

        Stick to the topic. My comments are about the suitability - or lack thereof - of the iPod as an interface model for control of automotive functions. My thesis is that it is not a suitable interface, in fact, a dangerous one. My disparagement of Ian Callum is relative to his positioning of Apple UI design as a model to be copied.

        Give me a big screen with buttons around it so I get what I need in 1 layer. What can't go into the top layer can't be important...things like lighting and background preferences.

        Yes, and redundancy is good - especially when it works with a well designed in the first place interface.

        Relative to the XF - a stupid name that bastardizes the Jaguar nomenclature...she is beautiful. It is too bad that Ford had to borrow headlamps from Subaru but I am sure some bean-counting bastard who drives a 1977 Mustang II decided that the ones on the concept would be too expensive to make. I wonder where they got the door handles from too. Other than that I'll look at one
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Hi, I'm a Mac"

      "And I'm a Jag You Are"
      • 7 Years Ago
      Apple will not confirm or deny rumors, so say what you will effect what stock price you care about apple makes it easy.
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