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Mitsubishi's concept EMIRAI driver interface system


December 11, 2011

The Mitsubishi EMIRAI concept automotive interface

The Mitsubishi EMIRAI concept automotive interface

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Sneak peeks at future technology often come with a curious mixture of excitement (it's new!) and frustration (you have to wait ten years) and so it is with Mitsubishi's innovative EMIRAI automotive interface concept. While the system steers clear of the hands-free personal transportation envisioned in futuristic films such as Minority Report, it does explore interacting with your ride in some very compelling ways. From the looks of it, getting around by car will be a lot more interesting in a decade or so ... to say the least.

Among the new system's key innovations is a curved, touch-sensitive rear projection display that makes today's flat LCD panels look rather, well, pedestrian. Another interesting feature is the array of 18 steering wheel-mounted variable-activity buttons. To enhance intuitive interface interaction, only buttons usable at a given moment will be raised, the remainder will stay retracted. Gently sliding one's fingers over the buttons will scroll the display, too.

As if all that weren't enough, the EMIRAI interface also incorporates biometrics such as an infrared camera and Doppler sensor to measure facial temperature and heart rate respectively. Aside from telling the driver how he or she is feeling on any given day, that data can also be used to invoke pre-determined customized settings such as seat and mirror positions for alternate drivers and maybe even key-less ignition. Just so folks in the back seat don't feel left out, they've even thrown in curved, glasses-free 3D seatback display touchscreens.

"At Mitsubishi Electric, we suggest individual technologies to all kinds of car makers," said Kiyoshi Matsutani, manager of Mitsubishi Electric's Automotive Electronics Development Center, as he explained the rationale behind such an advanced look at his company's drawing boards. "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." Judging from the excitement surrounding EMIRAI, it's safe to say the future is likely to arrive sooner rather than later.

Source: DigInfo

Check out the video below to see EMIRAI in operation:

About the Author
Randolph Jonsson A native San Franciscan, Randolph attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland before finding his way to the film business. Eventually, he landed a job at George Lucas' Industrial Light + Magic, where he worked on many top-grossing films in both the camera and computer graphics departments. A proud member of MENSA, he's passionate about technology, optimal health, photography, marine biology, writing, world travel and the occasional, well-crafted gin and tonic! All articles by Randolph Jonsson
1 Comment

Rear view early warning radar would eliminate collisions during lane changes if speed differences were factored in. If I ever have a bad accident, it will probably happen during a lane change on the freeway because of speed differences. I have thought it was clear and started to move over when a car suddenly appeared moving at a higher speed. I assume it was from behind or from two lanes over.

Predicting 10 years into the future is difficult. Twenty five, near impossible. Want proof? Read the old popular mechanics magazine predictions. Almost none were accurate.

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