CES 2015: Harman builds CarPlay solution based on steering wheel-mounted touchpad

Jeremy Horwitz of 9to5Mac had a chance to play with Harman’s novel CarPlay solution at CES 2015 which ditches touchscreen-based interactions in favor of a steering wheel-mounted touchpad.
Harman, while at this year’s CES, has introduced its brand new “Integrated Essentials Cockpit,” which actually foregoes the need for a touchscreen — which has primary worked as the main method of input for infotainment/entertainment systems in automobiles — and aims to have input handled through a touchpad positioned on the steering wheel. What’s more, this particular system doesn’t put the information on a center-console display, but rather in the dashboard directly behind the steering wheel.

Such an approach could be viewed as better compared to touchscreen-based CarPlay systems for a number of reasons, yet isn’t without its pitfalls.

Not only does the driver need not glance towards the middle of the car for touchscreen interactions, but can interact with CarPlay using a touchpad built into the steering wheel.
The layout is certainly interesting, especially when compared to just about every single other implementation of CarPlay so far. Harman’s method is meant for budget vehicles, but the inclusion of a touchpad on the steering wheel would suggest that at least a little bit of a price hike would come along with that type of feature.

What do you think of Harman’s use of CarPlay?

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