Filling her up is not quick if “her” is powered on batteries. Even in the best situation when superchargers are available it would take some 20 minutes. The idea is to recharge the electric car as you do your grocery shopping at the mall or take a coffee and read today’s newspaper. However, in many situations, like in a long journey, you just have to stop to recharge and there is nothing else to do but waiting.
Here’s where the Tesla Arcade comes in. The Model 3 is now coming equipped with a set of games that can be played on the big touch screen of the car and you can even use the steering wheel as the control device (watch the clip).
What I like is the idea of transforming an environment designed for a certain application (driving) into another one, This is the magic of bits. Bits are neutral and you can “overload” them with different meaning as need arise. In this case the steering wheel movement generates bits that can be used to steer the wheels or to interact with a game. Notice that the steering is very similar to the interaction you have in a game. The steering wheel is no longer mechanically connected to the wheels, rather it sends bits to a computer that interpret them and decide how much movement should be applied to the wheels depending on road condition, speed, drag and more.
It shouldn’t be difficult to imagine that in the future the gaming application in the car may take advantage of other in-car interfaces, like the HUD (Head Up Display) to project information and images on the windshield to create an even more immersive gaming environment.
The Tesla Arcade is just a start towards a future where more and more ambients will become aware of us and will adapt seamlessly to the situation, using a variety of interfaces to support interaction.