The Car Dashboard of the Future - A New Place To Play?

The same kind of touchscreen-controlled, widget-enabled technology that lets us customize and personalize devices like the iPad and Android-powered phones could be coming to your car dashboard. Naturally, we're thinking "So, what kind of games can we play on it?"

The New York Times' Wheels blog takes a look at one offering from Cisco that promises a "fully customizable, upgradeable, personalized dashboard" for future cars. The tech sounds iPad like, letting users add and rearrange widgets, with much of the standard applications in tow—GPS, weather info, and access to media, news and such. Surely, a version of Foursquare for cars would be an obnoxious hit.

While the prospect of actually playing video games on your car's dashboard sounds like a concept fraught with danger and unwanted liability, the possibilities for turning your drive into a game could introduce fun to the more mundane side of driving. Achievements for hypermiling, leveling up one's car through maintenance and, hey, maybe even multiplayer racing in the real world might make for a good time.

If we're going to eventually score points for brushing our teeth, why not driving? Let's capitalize on the fear of embarrassment of our Farmville crops withering into something that matters.

Cisco's touchscreen tech on the dashboard isn't anything new, as production cars and concepts like Chrysler's C200 employ such displays. What will make it fun are the apps.

David Evans, chief futurist at Cisco, says the company's product isn't ready for production yet, at more of the possibility stage right now. "It's a platform for discussion," Evans says. Fair enough. Let's discuss it.

Car of the Future Could Include Personalized Dashboards [NYTimes]