2019 BMW R1250 GS Adventure TFT Display: Clearly Ahead of the Competition

Many BMW boxer hours have been logged here at the bivouac but the 2019 BMW R1250 Adventure looks to represent a serious step forward in development and refinement. Even coming from the world of the superlative K1600GT, the new telematics and interface options for 2019 seem leaps and bounds ahead. With a crisp and bold Thin-Film-Transistor (or TFT) display, BMW has upped both the functionality and legibility of their displays and they are making them standard across many more models this year. With robust integration of phone features including playing audio and providing turn-by-turn navigation prompting plus a slew of adjustability and informational displays about any given bike setting, this seems like a must have feature that quite a bit of design effort and development has gone into.

Significant Redesign:  The 2019 GSA has a redesigned boxer engine with shift cam technology and a revised powerful TFT display.

Significant Redesign: The 2019 GSA has a redesigned boxer engine with shift cam technology and a revised powerful TFT display.

Heads Up:  The TFT display has been designed for easy access to information and glanceability and configuration.

Heads Up: The TFT display has been designed for easy access to information and glanceability and configuration.

Clearly Ahead:  The display technology works across a variety of lighting contexts.

Clearly Ahead: The display technology works across a variety of lighting contexts.

Building on the Past:  A fond view at the bivouac, the K1600GT’s configurable display is still solid but is starting to age. In its initial instantiation, the clocks always had legibility issues which were addressed to some degree with a refresh. Any such issues on the GS line have been clearly solved with the new the R1250GSA instrumentation.

Building on the Past: A fond view at the bivouac, the K1600GT’s configurable display is still solid but is starting to age. In its initial instantiation, the clocks always had legibility issues which were addressed to some degree with a refresh. Any such issues on the GS line have been clearly solved with the new the R1250GSA instrumentation.

Information Visualization: The Impact of War

Although it has been around for a while, The Fallen of World War II does a fine job of visualizing the sheer number of lives lost during the conflict. It is always sobering to see the scope of the war visualized and pieces like this help us to remain ever mindful of those that sacrificed or lost their lives in a civilian context so that what so that the relative pease we have today is not taken for granted.

CRAFT: Building a Millennium Falcon Scale Model

The modeling techniques reflected in this video are quite impressive. From knowing when to release parts from their moldings to painting and weathering surfaces, several great ways to increase the realism of a model are shown. The lighting and other details in Bandai’s perfect grade Millennium Falcon kit are out of this world as are ModelChili’s work is perfect grade skills.

CRAFT: Topaz Level 5 Signature Detail

Having had the good fortune to have had several modern vehicles in the bivouac’s collection over the years, one thing is clear. Clear coat technology has certainly improved since it introduction the 1980’s. That said, as manufacturers have moved to more water based paints, orange peeling is still prevalent on even the most premium offerings as evidenced in this Topaz Maybach detailing video. There’s something to be said for the masters that have the patience, technique and scientific outlook needed to rectify some of the failings of from factory paint work. He’s to the details and detailers out there!

2019 EyesOn Design Awards

It was a pleasure participating again this year as an EyesOn Design judge at the North American International Auto Show. Congratulations to the award winners on their inspirational work.

 

Best Concept Vehicle  -  Infiniti QX 3 Inspiration Concept 
- Presented by Dassault Systèmes
The judges say: "A new and fresh look that shows extraordinary sophistication and simplicity."

 

Best Designed Interior  Infiniti QX 3 Inspiration Concept 
- Presented by ABC Technologies
The judges say: "True inspiration and functionality."

 

Innovative Use of Color, Graphics or Materials  Infiniti QX 3 Inspiration Concept
- Presented by Axalta
The judges say: "Embodies a modern take on materials while retaining a clean Japanese sensibility." 

 

Best Production Vehicle  Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500 
- Presented by Covestro LLC
The judges say: "The next best tribute to the Mustang ... what the car really represents."
 

Ground Control to Major Tom...

Ever wonder what it was like to ride aboard a mighty Saturn V rocket? Well, with Reentry: An Orbital Simulator you can now take on the role of a mission commander and master the procedures followed by those that pioneered spaceflight. Explore the intricate details of famous space craft interfaces and the ingenious approaches to controlling them that worked within the constraints of technologies available at the time of launch.


IDEO's Future of Automobility work included in Cooper Hewitt's "The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility" Exhibition

It is such a pleasure to see work from IDEO’s four part exploration of “The Future of Automobility included within the Cooper Hewitt’s “The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility Exhibit. On view at the New York’s Cooper Hewitt through March 31st, 2019, the exhibit explores how we might move people, things, spaces and information in the 21st Century and beyond. Innovative concepts, prototypes and simulation work exploring how future forms of mobility and new approaches to urban planning might emerge are featured from leading companies working in the mobility domain.

Visitors are prompted to capture their own hopes, needs and desires for future mobility on post-it notes and to place them upon a life-sized sketch of a vehicle designed to support shared mobility.

Visitors are prompted to capture their own hopes, needs and desires for future mobility on post-it notes and to place them upon a life-sized sketch of a vehicle designed to support shared mobility.

Concepts created for the Future of Automobility series exploring moving people, things, spaces and together are on view within the exhibit space.

Concepts created for the Future of Automobility series exploring moving people, things, spaces and together are on view within the exhibit space.

Two In One: The New BMW Motorad 1250cc Boxer Engine with ShiftCam

Here at the Bivouac, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the rugged reliability of BMW’s boxer engine in an R1100RT and the sheer sophistication and power of their inline six cylinder engine in their remarkable continent cruiser, the K1600GT. Now, BMW is offering a new boxer engine with ShiftCam technology. With this new technology, Available in the new R1250RT and R1250GS, one wonders if each will feel like more than one bike in one.

The new ShiftCam is designed to provide controllable power at low speeds and more on-demand power at open throttle. The K1600GT felt like several bikes in one thanks to its adjustable engine and suspension profiles. Will ShiftCam technology have the same dynamic effect on the new boxer engine equipped bikes? As motorcycle manufacturers strive to meet new emissions and fuel standards, we can hope that innovations like this bring more bikes with a wider range of characteristics and capabilities to single track trails and long stretches of open road. Good on BMW for continuing to innovate on a time-tested platform.

An Old Favorite: Danny Goodman's Macintosh Handbook

Many fond memories of shaping early interaction design courses way back in 1993 persist here at the bivouac. I was fortunate to enter the field at a time when computing had matured just enough to become accessible to a wider range of creatives. I was also lucky to teach both introductory and advanced courses in computer visualization.

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For the introductory course, I relied upon Danny Goodman’s excellent Macintosh Handbook Featuring System 7. Bringing together Danny Goodman and Richard Saul Wurman, this publication was and remains an exceptional example of accessible and visually delightful educational material. The illustrations are clear and inviting and they demystified the breakthrough technology on offer from Apple at the time.

The book is innovative in other ways as well. Information and terms are supplemented with hypertext-like cross-references to related content in other sections of the book. This is such a great reminder of the heady days of the dawn of the Macintosh and the promise of newly accessible computing for all creatives to enjoy.

For other inspirational publications check out the bivouac’s list of design related readings. Overall, Danny Goodman’s Macintosh Handbook remains an outstanding exemplar of clear and inspirational instructional reference material. It is one that passes the test of time in a fast moving technical context. For a first hand account of what went into creating the publication visit Nathan Shedroff’s site article.

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The publication visuals mimic the Macintosh operating system visuals including a “finder” menu along the top of many pages, to further demystify the new to world Apple technology.

Off The Wall

Whenever I see images of automotive designers thoughtfully shaping vehicle profiles at 1:1 scale on walls with tape and film and pen and pencil I get inspired. Regardless of how often these traditional visualization methods are used in this age of virtual reality visualization capability, images like this are a powerful reminder of what goes into getting vehicles out into the world. For the rare percentage of them that resemble rolling sculpture, it is well and good to be reminded of all the effort, craft, vision, methods and attention to detail that goes into making them a reality.

The Work Continues at Oroville Dam

If you have not been tracking the progress of the Oroville dam spillway repair project, the scale of the effort has been impressive. Since the collapse of a portion of the main spillway two winters ago. The California Department of Water Resources has been capturing progress through compelling videos. Its inspiring to see projects of this magnitude taking place in the United States today accompanied by a great safety record.

Mobility Moment: Offering Choices for Shared Travel

Today's ride sharing services use vehicles that never designed with this form of mobility in mind. Designing for choice will be a key challenge for those creating vehicles optimized for ride and car sharing services in the years to come. Passengers may choose to work, converse, be entertained or just relax and restore themselves with some private time. All of this is what IDEO has explored in chapter four of its Future of Automobility point of view. Noise canceling or conversation enhancing technologies contained in seat "halos" could help passengers have easier conversations, enjoy media or opt out for tranquil time. Its an exciting time to consider all the needs one must design for when creating something for the new on-demand and shared mobility market.

Providing shared vehicle occupants with a choice of being social or relaxing on their own will be key challenge in vehicle design for the next generation of vehicles.