It's normal for game developers to start designing car dashboards...right?

Ustwo, the creators behind Monument Valley, which is one of the most well-designed iOS games available, has announced it is taking a stab at reimagining how the car dashboard looks and works. We're not kidding. Ustwo even teamed up with the company Car Design Research to create a prototype for an in-car display. It only shows contextual information when and where you need it, and to be frank, it looks pretty cool.

Ustwo explained in a blog post that it decided to tackle dashboards after noticing vehicles' instrument clusters (which include things like the speedometer and odometer) have remained fundamentally unchanged since instruments first began appearing in cars: "Even today with LCD clusters, such as in the Mercedes S-Class, we see the skeuomorphic recreation of these mechanical dials in digital form."

Car manufacturers sometimes have specific types of dashboards and instrument clusters in order to maintain consistency, familiarity, and brand perception, but Ustwo still feels all that ought to be challenged. It questioned, for instance, why people need to see speed when parked. People don't care how fast they're going while they're stopped, so a better instrument to see would be range (i.e., how far you can go).

Ustwo has therefore replaced the traditional dashboard with something it called adaptive hierarchy. It displays the most relevant information for the current situation. Fuel, for instance, will display before you start moving, so you know how much gas is in the tank before straightaway, and when you start moving, you'll see speed and gears up front and center. Going in reverse will prompt the rear-view camera, etc.

Ustwo also built in notifications, so you can get alerts about school zones or slippery roads while driving. You can even get SMS alerts, with ability to respond via Siri or Google Now. The entire concept is still a prototype, but Ustwo has made the source code and design assets available through GitHub. It's hoping people tear it apart and ultimately provide criticism that can help the company improve its vision.

Sections Cars