2011 Audi A8 adds handwriting recognition to in-car UI

2011 Audi A8 adds handwriting recognition to in-car UI

Summary: Audi's flagship A8 luxury sedan is the company's technological tour de force, and the company says its 2011 iteration will sport handwriting recognition among its many features.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Hardware, Wi-Fi
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Audi's flagship A8 luxury sedan is the company's technological tour de force, and the company says its 2011 iteration will sport handwriting recognition among its many features.

The feature will be supported in the vehicle's Multi Media Interface, or MMI -- effectively the navigation/media unit in the car's console. It allows the user to write the destination in freehand and then use the touchscreen to manipulate the directions as necessary.

The idea: why tap using a keyboard when handwriting is faster?

The feature also supports Cyrillic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean character support, allowing for global reach.

Other features of the vehicle include all-LED headlights, "anticipatory" satellite navigation with night vision, and energy recuperation technology.

The A8 will also house a UMTS module which will enable Google Earth images to be beamed to the MMI monitor in three-dimensions for navigation purposes. The company says full Internet connectivity via UMTS will soon be possible -- in other words, the entire car will be a mobile WLAN hotspot.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Wi-Fi

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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6 comments
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  • Why not just voice recognition?

    This just seems like an unnecessary stop on the evolutionary path of automotive technology.
    ejhonda
  • RE: 2011 Audi A8 adds handwriting recognition to in-car UI

    ...because writing and driving is so much better. I sense FAIL all over this one...
    Officewhore
    • If you need to use the GPS then...

      you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you are going, you should be pulled over.

      Telling the GPS where you need to go while driving is a fail. You pull over, mess with the GPS, then drive. The same is true regardless of how you communicate with your GPS weather it is by voice, typing, or writing.
      T1Oracle
  • RE: 2011 Audi A8 adds handwriting recognition to in-car UI

    Great feature for left handed people living in countries that drive on the right and for right handed people in left driving countries.

    I'm left handed. Can I order the Brit model for delivery to the US?
    mswift@...
  • RE: 2011 Audi A8 adds handwriting recognition to in-car UI

    I'm left handed, and so is about 12-13% of the population according to studies. Shall all of us lefties move to Britain and buy a right-hand drive version so we can use this?
    dzspam@...
  • LOL With the roads that we have

    where I live, even if I wanted to write something on that screen, the pot
    holes will win and my "i" will become a "W". Fail. Can't stop giggling.
    minardi