This new remote looks pretty functional. It isn't the nicest looking control but it looks more functional than some of the other set-ups I've seen. Often times they have large knobs that can move in almost every direction, but this seems confusing. The simple touch pad and few buttons seem easier to use. Its almost like a laptop touch pad.
I hope it's good, but I am not convinced yet. The problem with applying comsumer electronics or IT technology to the car is that it's based on bad assumptions.
With a computer or iPad we are free to focus on the screen while we are using the interface, in a car we are not. We have to focus on the road to maintain the all important Situational Awareness.
This is why the mouse-like Remote Touch Interface ultimately failed. This is also why Cadillac's CUE is failing, as have other touch screen interfaces.
The best interface minimizes the need for and time spent with the driver's eyes on the display. The click-wheel approach from Audi and BMW follow that design principle much better. Touch Screens do not.
Car companies are failing in their engineering by not doing their homework on Human Factors Engineering, other industries are ahead of them and they need to tap into those industries.