Near-future Car Interface Technology – Mitsubishi EMIRAI
Mitsubishi Electric have developed a car interface which they believe will be realized within a decade from now. The EMIRAI concept features a newly developed curved, rear-projection display as the dashboard, a tactile interface with buttons that pop up when needed, and a safety system that uses biometrics.
"This car embodies a concept for about ten years from now. Its main feature is the display. For the instrument panel in the center, which has only been a flat LCD until now, what we suggest is using rear projection, so the display surface can be freely curved, for more effective design. Another feature is that, even though this is a rear-projection display, it supports touch operation as well."
One of the more striking features of the EMIRAI interface is the shape-changing buttons on the steering wheel. Among the 18 buttons, only those that can be interacted with are raised, while the rest are retracted. So the interface can be used intuitively, without looking. The display can also be scrolled by sliding your fingers over the buttons.
"Things like the seat position can be customized for all kinds of people. This is done through personal ID, and facial temperature measurement, or heart-rate measurement using a Doppler sensor. In this way, the system senses the person's health condition on that day. The aim is to position the seat and steering to match the driver, and provide information to help with safe driving."
In addition, as the interface is proposed for use in a future EV, you can select an imitation engine noise to let people nearby know you're approaching. There's also a handwriting text entry interface for use with the navigation system, optimized for the one-handed input of Japanese characters. The rear seats feature newly developed curved glasses-free 3D touchscreen displays.
"At Mitsubishi Electric, we suggest individual technologies to all kinds of car makers. But unless we show how these technologies can actually be used, manufacturers don't have a clear image of them, or understand what level of performance they've reached. So we suggest specifically how technologies can be used, by enabling people to experience those technologies for themselves."
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