An LCD in a gear shifter: useful or just eye candy?

When I first heard about AC Schnitzer’s new LCD-equipped gear shifter, I thought, wow, this would be useful as the LCD takes the guessing out of what gear the transmission is in. Then I realized, most people that drive a manual don’t think about what they’re doing. They just know what gear they’re in and what gear they’re planning to shift into. Are there really people out there driving and thinking, “My god what gear am I in!”

This makes me think the new gear shifter is just eye candy and nothing more. AC Schnitzer is planning to install the new shifter in its BMWs and MINIs, which are already loaded with eye candy so it makes sense. There is no word on when we will see these appear in new cars or a price tag.