There’s lots of design activity around how to bring more digital services to drivers, but the passenger often gets left out of the fun. So, it’s interesting to see this work from GM on how to enhance the passengers’ experience. For their Windows of Opportunity project, they focused on engaging children in the rear seats.
Apparently passengers often feel disconnected from the surrounding environment. So, the project brief asked “to turn car windows into interactive displays capable of stimulating awareness, nurturing curiosity and encouraging a stronger connection with the world outside the vehicle.”
The project was done by students from the FUTURE LAB at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel. The students designed a collection of apps that use the windows as displays to educate about the current environment, to share music and images with other cars, to glance inside other cars, and to just doodle on the window.
What’s interesting, is how an interest in rear-seat passengers is apparently an automotive trend. About six months earlier Toyota, in collaboration with the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, released their Window to the World concept which has some very similar applications.
The projects are a start. But their similarity demonstrates how conservative the auto industry can be. It’d be nice to see something more adventurous and surprising.