You may have read our first drive of the new S-class, and been amazed at the array of new safety gadgets. What the word count prevented me from talking about was something called ‘Splitview’ technology.
Sounds like a very clever and almost entirely pointless gimmick? That’s what I thought initially, but seeing it is something altogether more impressive.
Splitview allows the passenger to listen and watch something different to the driver on the same infotainment screen. The high-definition picture is sharp and fuzz-free from both angles, and it is truly surreal to find that as a passenger you can watch a movie on the same screen that is displaying the sat-nav and playing the radio for the driver.
Even the controls are separate. The passenger gets a remote control that, when set to split-screen mode, will only control their view of the screen so they can’t inadvertently change the sat-nav destination whilst searching for the BBC news.
So the technology works brilliantly and has enough wow factor that it should sell well despite a price tag that is yet to be confirmed but will undoubtedly be four figures long. Yet is this really something that will get used in a car for anything other than showing off to your friends? I doubt it. However, if the same technology could work on a bigger scale – say a 42-inch screen – then the potential is clear. This means I could be watching Desperate Housewives on my high-def TV from the comfort of my sofa whilst my boyfriend plays Grand Theft Auto on the X-Box on the same screen (he’ll get the armchair and the headphones, obviously).