Eyes-Free Personal Assistant Delivers Feedback Through A Steering Wheel

This personal assistant could transform the automotive industry.

Personal assistants are on the up. Just this month we wrote about Miranda,’ a personalized alarm clock created by Berlin-based tech company Capsule.fm that wakes you with information similar to the features put forth in the film Her. Now the trend is moving into the automotive industry with ‘Jeane,’ a smartphone-operated software that integrates with the driving experience.

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Jeane is a force-feedback steering wheel cover that vibrates to help the driver navigate. It has the ability to tell you how to get to your destination while preventing traffic jams by synchronizing with other Jeane users, providing useful information such as when the other drivers are slowing down or speeding up.

The software can also be used to make phone calls without releasing the steering wheel and even makes using your GPS easier, with vibrating motors that buzz to let you know when you’re approaching a turn.

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Designer Arjun Iyer explained the inspiration behind the project to PSFK,

“When the hype around Google’s car started to pick up in 2012 and 2013, lots of people were talking about how traffic jams and car accidents would be eliminated by self-driving cars. The sentiment at the time seemed to be that self-driving cars would solve all traffic problems forever! I was very skeptical about the idea of self-driving cars completely replacing human drivers, so I began to wonder what it would take to make human drivers better than self-driving cars. Jeane is the result of my investigations. I built Jeane to help anyone become a better driver, and to make driving a more enjoyable experience.”

Iyer believes that one day we will use our smartphones and other gadgets for all kinds of personal assistance however the future truly lies in “eyes-free assistance.”

These days, personal computers of all forms are built around screens. I see very little difference between a laptop, tablet, smartphone, television, game console, etc, because they all require people to use a screen. Since the rise of smartphones and tablets, screen-based personal assistants have become more intuitive and user-friendly, but they aren’t great for situations where it is dangerous or inappropriate to look at a screen. Jeane is designed to provide completely eyes-free assistance, and avoid the problems that could occur if you were driving and looking a screen simultaneously.”

If Iyer’s Kickstarter makes his $30,000 goal this month, this really could be the start of hands-free personal assistants as was portrayed in the film Her. Iyer aims to partner with a town or city to see what daily life with synchronized traffic would be like. He hopes to launch via an online store by May 2015 and have Jeane available worldwide soon after.

Images, source: Kickstarter

 

 

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