This video, which was sent to me by a particularly reclusive Canadian cyclist, is forty-one minutes long. It was made by a Fisker Karma owner and it contains an exhaustive review of the Karma’s infotainment system. If you aren’t in the market for a Karma, it is virtually unwatchable.
If you are in the market for a Karma, it’s perhaps the most important video you will ever see.
Brian Greenstone is an Austin-based programmer who owns both an Aston Vantage and Fisker Karma. He claims to be an expert on user interface design and he has an award from Apple to support the point. During the course of his video, he comprehensively deconstructs the way the Karma works. Anyone who is even considering a Karma should see the video. It is detailed, specific, and informative. It was also created by someone who paid his own hard-earned money for the vehicle.
Now, for contrast, let’s take a look at Dan Neil’s advertorial:
Meet the world’s MOST INTERESTING CAR! Every square centimeter of the Fisker Karma riots with clarity, and design intent, and vested individuality, and scorn for convention we haven’t seen since the Tucker Torpedo…
After watching Mr. Greenstone show you how the user interface requires a press on the “up” arrow to move “down” the menu and have permission to touch menu items which were clearly visible previous to said up-touching, it’s highly unlikely that you will agree with Mr. Neil about the whole “riots with clarity” business. Aren’t riots usually affairs which, by definition, are short on clarity? But I digress.
The difference in the two videos is clear enough to supply an entire riot’s worth of clarity, actually. Greenstone’s video is meant to demonstrate how a Fisker Karma works. Dan Neil’s video is meant to be an advertisement for Dan Neil first, and perhaps the Karma second. It’s hard to imagine that anyone who is seriously considering the purchase of a Karma would learn anything from watching Mr. Neil pop his collar and fumble through the pronunciation of “gestalt” — but Greenstone’s video should be required watching for any Karma intender.
Greenstone’s Karma video isn’t the only effort of its kind out there. It’s simply one of the most intelligent and thorough videos available. In the years to come, it’s very possible to imagine that most people will bypass TTAC and its competitors and hit the owner videos the way they currently bypass Motor Trend and visit us. What will the future of auto journalism be then? Will we simply aggregate user-generated content in one place? Will we pull clicks solely by having early access to vehicles before the public? How beholden will we all be to the manufacturers when that’s our only way of keeping an audience? Or will your children tune in to the TTAC Hologram channel to watch my son live-blog an escape from the highway patrol in a hydrogen-powered hovercraft?
Karma intenders don’t have to even think about questions like that. For them, as William Gibson once famously said, the future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.