The video monitor as part of a tractor cab is commonplace these days. It's where you track how your machine is working, and in many cases look at a lot of other issues too from guidance to engine management. Farm Industry News got an early look at the future of these kinds of displays with the new John Deere 4600 Command-Center, which offers some key physical differences over its GS3 Command-Center predecessor, but the big changes are in how you work with the system.

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In a demonstration of the system ahead of its August launch, we got to see how the user interfaces with the tractor is making a shift at John Deere and you can blame your smart phone. "More people are using smart phones and that guided our redesign of some of the user interface elements found on the Generation 4 Command-Center," says J.C. Funke, product manager, John Deere.

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The operative word, Funke says, is 'easy,' which in John Deere's case is a new four-letter word they like to hear. The company engaged an outside user interface consultant who assisted with the display and control design and offered insight into making things easier for the operator. And the system was tested too. "We worked with more than 200 farmers to test this and finalize the design," Funke says.