Friday, September 09, 2005

Part 3 - User Interaction

In continuing with 10 Steps to Understanding Car Computers, I will next cover how the user interacts with the car computer. Like everything in car computers, there are numerous choices.
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Key Pad
  • Joystick
  • Voice Recognition
  • Touch Screen
  • Display
  • Character LCD
  • Touch Screen VGA
  • LCD Screen Component Video
  • Character LCD
  • Touch Screen
The simplest input that a user could make would be using a keyboard with keys mapped to execute specific commands. Some users used this same idea but use a smaller keypad, like a numbers pad.

The most standard way to interact with the carpc is via a touch screen. Most people install 7-8inch LCD touch screens that provide image display and easy user input. The perfered style of screens use vga input over other method like composite or s-video. The main reason is that they provide a large large of resolution to be run on them. When using the composite video screens, the text can be fuzzy and hard to read. Below is a Lilliput LCD Touch screen.

Is the past, and still some now, were using Character LCD screens. These provided a few lines of text and limited characters per line.

My choice and personal favorite is voice input. Using a few software packages (or writing my own) allows the driver to completely interact with the system without have to touch the screen or any buttons. I have found it very fun to play with and works pretty well.These are just a few of the above combinations discussed in a bit more detail. Part of the fun of building a carpc is the freedom to chose what you want. You can have 5 LCD screens or none and still have a wonderful, original car computer.


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