EB Guide 5.4 integrates gesture control into HMI design options

November 07, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The latest iteration of the EB Guide design software enriches the design of Human-Machine Interfaces for electronic vehicle systems by speech, multi-touch and gesture control options. Car designers benefit by higher flexibility, faster time-to-market, and significantly lower development costs.

EB (Elektrobit) these days released version 5.4 of its HMI development platform EB Guide. The new release enables designers to create multimodal user interfaces which can be controlled by spoken commands as well as by complex touches like multi-finger wiping and even through gestures. Besides the product introduction, EB also presents a technology demonstrator which illustrates how to integrate web-based HTML5 applications with little effort into embedded automotive HMIs.

"The automotive industry faces the challenge to master the increasing complexity of the in-vehicle software", explained EB Vice President Infotainment Products and Strategy Martin Schleicher. He added that the software platform helps OEMs to reduce their cost and to focus on their core activities like differentiating themselves through the user experience.

In terms of functionality, the software platform has been inspired by today's consumer electronics landscape. Functions that are already ubiquitously implemented on smartphones can be transferred into the vehicles through EB Guilde 5.4, Schleicher said. These functions include speech processing, gesture control, 3D animations, graphical effects and haptics. The technical foundation of the multi-modal HMIs are EB's enhanced EB Guide Speech Extension and the integrated EB Guide Speech Target Framework (STF). "With its ability to combine language dialog modelling and graphical user interfaces, EB Guide 5.4 makes innovative functions tangible in multimodal automotive HMIs, such as automatic speech recognition and text-to-speech", said Arnd Weil, General Manager Automotive / Embedded for Nuance Communications.

The EB Guide Technology demonstrator illustrates the range of possibilities HTML5 is offering for infotainment systems. EBs concept for the integration of web-based technologies such as HTML5 is based on EB Guide GTF and an HTML5-enabled browser engine. This combination enables OEMs to control the usability of an HMI and the security of external applications throughout the entire product life time of a car model. It also enables the OEM to update the content of such an application.