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> Physical buttons and dials for users to interact with that still can be changed by the system are wholly possible.

Sure, but irrational. One of the largest benefits of physical controls is physical feedback, like being about to feel if you've reached the max cold/hot ceilings or the state of the switches.

To make them voice compatible you have to remove that physical association (e.g. infinite spinners, or blind switches), which means now you need to take your eyes off the road to use them, which was major perk of physical controls.

Physical controls that have no physical state are the worst of both worlds. You've lost the physical and electronic control's advantages while adding the disadvantages to both.




> Physical controls that have no physical state are the worst of both worlds.

This is so true. I absolutely hate the AC knob in my car. Apparantely, they thought it was good engineering to make it infinite.


At least you can find it without taking your eyes off the road. This works fine for fan power, where you know when to stop based on what you feel, but not so much for temperature, where you can’t immediately tell what’s right.


One of my friends has a motorized knob he uses for volume control- shr wrote a script that relays the current volume to the Arduino that controls the whole thing.

It's awesome- I love that thing so much and have parts on the way to build my own.

I think the issue is more bad integration than it is a bad idea.

A VFD or 7-segment display next to a pair of buttons for up and down works quite well for temperature control, and lets you integrate it nicely with digital controls.

The issue here is not that it's impossible to integrate the analog physical and the digital aether- it's the implementation that's oft lacking.


I think all of these things are solvable by haptics and good design.

Of course - the latter is the factor least likely to be present.




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