- Engineers are looking at how users connect with equipment in new ways to make operation easier.
- Key driving force for user interface change the need for easy to use functions on a tractor display.
- An important feature for the new 4600 Command-Center is contextual help.
The new 4600 Command-Center for John Deere's newest 7R and 8R Series Tractors will feature a totally new user interface driven in part by farmer experience with smart phones.
Buying a tractor is about getting the right horsepower and other implement interfaces right, but the day to day living with a machine comes down to how easy it is to fine-tune practices or monitor machine performance. Simplifying the interface makes living with the machine easier too.
For the new 4600 Command Center, which will have a 10-inch display, and be featured on the new 7R and 8R Series Tractors for 2014, the interface is all new, but don't panic. Even for a novice (dare we say ag journalist) setting up the system looks easier because the interface is familiar if you're already using a smart phone or tablet today. The simple button icons drive you to specific tasks you can set up.
Funke says that the farmers who tested this system found themselves more willing to try different features. "We had one user whose father used his tractor and worked with a set of written instructions he never deviated from," he says. "That user, after a short time with the new Command-Center, found himself better able to set up the machine and he was very comfortable with it."