Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Impressive new york taxis

Impressive new york taxis
Originally uploaded by sdbj

have to say am impressed with the consumer facing technology installed recently in the new york cabs. it's a in car TV + credit card consoles. impressive stuff. ok you have to put up with the anodyne vapidity of the talking heads talking about non stories, but the technology is good in that it i) works everytime ii) is super simple to use and navigate. this means i can see the weather forecast and pay a cab with a credit card relatively painlessly.

i've noticed that the interface in ny transport related machines is as good as i've seen it anywhere. in the cabs, the credit card payment is quick, and cheekily suggests (optional) a minimum fare of $2, even on a $4 ride. no doubt this was to keep the cab drivers from complaining about credit cards losing them tips. also when buying a ticket for the trains or the subway, the interfaces are easy to grok and lightning fast, and have only rarely seen them out of order. they do smart things like suggest common routes, whereas the ticket machines in london profess no knowledge whatsover of where someone in waterloo might be likely to want to go, despite legions of hapless and similar commuters having provided reams of data. it's the kind of simple yet complex challenge google would love. perhaps they're providing some of the secret sauce behind the big apple's splendid transport infrastructure?

1 comment:

Martin Geddes said...

The question in my mind is how does your phone interact with the environment around you? If you liked that driver, would your phone remember? If you wanted to enter your card PIN securely (it'll get the the USA one day, I guess), could you do it on your phone? If you speak spanish, or tagalog, will the user interface know that?

The "next Internet" is the world directly around us.