SCREENS a “must have” tool for Automotive HMI developers: an online platform to benchmark automotive HMIs with no need to buy or rent vehicles!
Implementing an Automotive HMI is not an easy going, especially considering that it is strictly related to hardware and software specifications.
As HMI developer, I deal with features and elements that are correlated with the cognitive aspects of the graphic assets and the UI/UX experience becomes predominant in the first releases deployments.
As all creative processes, HMI development on his first steps is affected by the “blank page syndrome”: how can I assemble something of unique and original? Can I explore new ways to interact with the machine? Are the embedded devices powerful enough to build a more “human like” approach with the vehicle? Introducing 3D elements will preserve the readability and usability of the projects?
Obviously, these are only preliminary observations about something that become more and more complex as the project will be carried on, but having good references to analyse, explore and test become crucial, especially for these kind of products, where the final release will be part of an expensive vehicle.
Looking for libraries or tools that could support me during the above processes, I have found a valuable and well-done platform named SCREENS produced by DEUTSH AUTOMOTIVE.
I have had the pleasure to have a chat about the product with Julian Gauger, Head of Operations at DAG Deutsche Automotive Software GmbH, who has introduced SCREENS to me.
SCREENS is an online platform that contains high-quality video sequences of vehicles’ HMIs and each year it is updated with more than 250 releases of almost 40 car manufactures.
That said, SCREENS is not a mere sequence of videos, but a platform to literally “use” the UI of each HMI included into the database, where it is possible to select features from a hierarchy panel to finalize an evaluation and testing process, without any needs to buy or rent a vehicle!
All the video sequences are synched, it means that triggering a feature, all the other related features are played in the right sequence and synched with the sound as they are in the car.
Internal tools make possible to pair on the monitor different HMIs from various vehicles, so a comparison between different manufactures and manufacturers can be done on the fly.
The numbers of SCREENS are quite impressive: 18 new vehicles per year, 300 standard use cases per car and 200 videos per screen.
Here the benefits in using SCREENS as reported on the official web site:
- Prepare a test drive most effectively
With screens you can make yourself familiar with a new vehicle’s HMI before taking an actual test drive. This way, the rare and precious time in the vehicle can be used most efficiently.
- Get an overview of the HMI’s structure
Each car HMI has hundreds of entries, sometimes spread out up to ten levels. screens provides you with the entire menu structure in a vast hierarchical tree representing the original structure.
- Do not waste time with documentation
Moreover, you do not need to take any pictures or videos while test driving a new car which means you can fully concentrate on the look and feel of the new car’s user interface, instead.
- Keep up to date with the latest trends
Closely follow the latest trends and solutions from manufacturers in the HMI sector and access past and current vehicles at any time and based on a constantly growing database.
- Get answers quicker than in the actual car
In case of a specific question on a certain user interaction, screens will provide you with the according video sequence on the interaction much faster than by looking for it in an actual car.
- Read extensive HMI evaluations
Benefit from the results of days of intense interaction our benchmarking-team has had with each car and read the evaluation of every feature to find out about its strengths and weaknesses.
To have a go with SCREEN, a free testing access to the platform is available on https://screens-studio.com/
On top of everything DEUTSCHE AUTOMOTIVE has custom services on request. In addition to the conventional HMI-research, the company can provide a more extensive benchmarking research about any vehicle with European registration on short notice and make profound analyses, comparison and evaluations on every specific HMI topics.
For sure SCREENS is a “unique” product on the market in its kind and it has positively impressed me for the usability, quality of the videos and coherence of the platform implementation: a valuable library/platform to analyse and benchmark what already exist on the market and to use as reference to start a new production.