Greg Thomas, professor of design and director of the KU Center for Design Research, delivered a keynote address at the Connected World Conference, a three-day convention for mobile technology consumers, designers and companies, June 11-13 in St. Charles, Ill.
Thomas discussed distracted driving – the all-too-common phenomenon in which drivers get distracted by their high-tech toys – and present KU research designed to help drivers keep their eyes on the road.
“We were surrounded by the coolest cars and wireless technologies on the market – and some futuristic technologies that haven’t yet made it to market,” Thomas said. “We couldn’t ask for a better venue to showcase our research to companies, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and consumers. This is a great opportunity for the KU Center for Design Research to continue making a name for itself in the area of distracted driving and wireless technologies.”
So far, much of the CDR’s distracted driving research has focused on Adaptive Information Displays – or “smart dashboards” – designed to minimize distractions and maximize the amount of time drivers focus on the road.
In addition to his keynote, Thomas represented KU at the conference’s Distracted Driving Pavilion, a showcase of the latest in automobile technology, on the convention floor. The Pavillion included technology displays from blue chippers Chrysler, Audi, Cadillac, Chevy and Porsche. Other companies to display during the event include AT&T, Arrow, Voice Assist, Intel and Ericsson.