How Enhanced Visual Cues work within AmiGO. The first image shows the arrival indicator, and the second image shows the turn indicator.
As for the other instructions — the screen would briefly flash white to signal an upcoming speed camera. If you need to turn left, right, or even pull off a U-turn then a transparent version of the appropriate arrow marker would flash across the screen. They were eye-catching enough to engage your peripheral vision but not so distracting that they took your attention off the road.
Note: At the time of writing, the feature, now live in AmiGO’s public release, includes only turn warnings, turn signals and arrival alerts. But its developers tell us more functionality is in the pipeline.
Pressure can make diamonds
Kanters first developed this feature at a TomTom Hackathon, a competitive event where software engineers and other specialists come together to design and create disruptive software or hardware. This is typically done within 24 hours and the products/features made in these hackathons aim to benefit the world of mobility. It was here, that Kanters first breathed life into his idea, he gave it the working name: ”Hearing Impaired Mode*.”
His idea resonated across the company. His colleagues saw his passion for the project and how it could make a difference. They wanted to help him succeed. “I felt that this was really important for Timon. And I really wanted to help him somehow and I didn't want to fail”, Ilse Vitse, team lead of Kanters’ Hackathon group, tells me. “That was my driving factor, I saw his passion and it just turned over to me as well.”
While the team was developing the feature, they originally aimed to integrate it with the GO Navigation app, but as time progressed, they saw a bigger opportunity.
Jump forward two years. The team began to integrate this feature into TomTom IndiGO, TomTom’s open digital cockpit platform. More team members were joining the project, spurred onward by Kanters’ infectious vision. Kanters’ description of how everybody worked together reminded me of a well-oiled machine, every individual cog working in harmony, moving from strength to strength as the feature continued to evolve.
Before they knew it, they had progressed through two hackathons. Kanters’ team didn’t waste the opportunities, using both events as steppingstones to improve the feature. They made further adjustments to the visuals, made a few more tweaks and finally began integrating the feature into AmiGO, TomTom’s free navigation app.