Thank you for posting a vivid graphical example of something where the addition of technology is detrimental to the user experience. That screen has far too much information on it to be useful. What makes it worse is that it's packed into a small screen 25% smaller than my handheld (if it's a phone), and heavier as well, OR it's on a tablet that is not only much more cumbersome, but much heavier and fatiguing to hold for a long operating session. I can also map the function keys of my DCC system to do something different.... but why bother? They work just fine as is. The human interface of the "antiquated" technology doesn't hold me back; "unnecessary information overload" does. If I want to play with tech widgets, I'll use my computer. When running trains, KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) is the rule.DCC -- as a control system -- is not so much "antiquated" as are many of the control systems still being marketed, particularly in the USA.
DCC is "a standard". Until it's replaceable with "a NEW standard", all the other "alternate" systems will remain on the outside, looking in, coming into being, and then fading away. Look at MTH's "DCS". How did that do?
Things like "dead rail", direct wifi control (not via dcc), bluetooth, etc. are all doomed to failure, because (again) there is no "standard", no "universality" or "commonality" between them.
If you look at what the Europeans have done with dcc, it's far more up-to-date.
For an example of this, let's consider what Severn wrote:
"there's no "bell command" -- there's just command/function-code F8"
Not if one uses something like the Roco z21 or Digikeijs DR5000 systems (I reckon there might be one or two others out there that are similar).
The bell becomes whatever I wish to assign it to be -- any "number", or actually no particular "number" at all (at least that I can see on my control surface), but rather an "icon" -- and I can even choose that.
Look at the pic.
Without knowing the "f key number", can you tell which are the headlights?
The number boards?
The long horn?
The short horn?
The mute button?
View attachment 575084
These controls that you see above are not "fixed".
I created them myself -- choosing my own icons, f number, etc.
I can even reposition them to appear in any order I wish.
And I can do this independently for every locomotive in the fleet.
The American manufacturers need to pull their control interface designs from the 1990's into the present, as the Europeans have done. User-customizable interfaces, wifi, etc.
It's not dcc that is the problem.
It's the stultified human interfaces that are hobbling it and holding it back.