I’m obsessed with the Ford Mustang Mach-E physical touchscreen volume knob

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E features a giant touchscreen, and at the bottom is a sizable knob for volume control. I love it. There, stuck on a touchscreen, is a physical knob. Twist it! Spin it! There’s even a resounding click as it twists. The knob works so much better than a touchscreen slider bar, and I implore other automakers to follow Ford’s lead. This knob is a surprisingly simple solution.
Under the knob are tiny strips that interact with the touchscreen as if it was touched by a finger. When the knob is twisted, these strips drag across the screen, tricking the system into thinking a human is controlling it. As far as I can tell, the knob itself is nothing more than a few pieces of plastic glued onto the screen.
Ford’s system in the Mustang Mach-E is a happy compromise between massive touchscreens and good user interfaces. The user gets the benefits of a spinning knob, while Ford doesn’t have to build and install additional physical components to maintain standards. From my experience with the volume control, there’s no discernible lag, and it works very well. Spin it to change the volume or press the center to mute the audio. As with any great design, it works exactly like one would expect.
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