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Mitsubishi Electric develops multi-modal character input HMI for Chinese-language car nav

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has developed a multi-modal character input human-machine interface (HMI) for next-generation Chinese-language car navigation systems. The HMI accepts both QuanPin and ShuangPin input using PinYin phonetic symbols, and also recognizes handwriting and audible commands for a total of four input modes.

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System layout. Click to enlarge.

China is the world’s largest market for car navigation systems and demand is continue to grow. Various features of the Chinese language, however, have created a strong need for flexible character-input methods that ensure easy usage by all Chinese speakers.

PinYin, developed in 1958 as the standardized Chinese writing system, is learned in schools and used by Chinese people in their 30s or younger. Older Chinese, however, can have difficulties using this system, as do people living in outer regions of the country, Honda suggested. Furthermore, pronunciation in Cantonese and other numerous dialects can differ from standard Chinese.

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PinYin input. Click to enlarge.   Handwriting input. Click to enlarge.

The multi-modal character input system will be showcased in part on the company’s EMIRAI 2 concept vehicle exhibit at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show.

PinYin is the romanization of Chinese pronunciation, QuanPin predicts words based on the initial character and ShuangPin uses alphabetic input for each Chinese character.

The touchscreen is built into steering wheel allowing input with either hand.

The technology encompasses three Japanese patents and one international patent pending.

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