2011 Audi A8 adds handwriting recognition to in-car UI

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.

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.