The CES 2020 is over and I finally had the opportunity to get a private introduction to the functions of the screen and the touchscreens that are prominently displayed at Byton. Byton calls the screen that fills the whole dashboard the “Byton Stage“, allowing to display multiple widgets.
The Byton Stage technically consists of four screens that fit seamlessly together. The left screen has Blackberry QNX as its operating system, which is responsible for displaying the functions required by the driver, while the three left screens use Android as their operating system.
The Byton Stage is operated by a touch display on the steering wheel, another touch screen can be operated by the front passenger between the front seats, and two touch screens are attached to the headrests and can be operated by the passengers in the rear seat.
On the Byton Stage I was shown widgets like Twitter, contacts, weather, navigation system etc., which are also available while the vehicle is in operation. When the vehicle is parked, while charging for instance, new possibilities arise. The whole screen can become a video conference with cameras and presentation, or play movies. You can also meditate with it and listen to soothing music while enjoying the view of forest greenery – no matter where you have actually parked.
Video games can be played with up to four players in the car. The driver, passenger and rear-seat passenger can join in and play together.
The Byton has several cameras installed in the vehicle, two of them to the left and right of the Byton Stage. This allows access to the vehicle to be controlled not only by facial recognition, but because the data is also stored in the cloud, Byton drivers will find their preferred settings in any Byton vehicle they happen to be sitting in.
Above the center console is a gesture control detector that can be used to navigate the menus and also adjust the volume of the radio, for example.
At CES 2020, Byton announced not only new media partnerships to provide content for the vehicle, but also the launch of a developer community. Android developers will have the opportunity to bring their existing applications to the center console or to develop new applications for the Byton Stage.
Remember what Steve Jobs demonstrated in 2007 when he presented the iPhone with apps – reading emails and the New York Times, looking at pictures and taking a phone call – and if you compare the wealth of applications today – Uber, Tinder, fitness apps, video games – all of which were not really that predictable and have created their own billion-dollar industries, you can only guess what applications will be possible in a digital vehicle like Byton.
And here is the demo of the Byton Stage at the CES 2020:
This article was also published in German.