2012 Detroit Auto Show

A few belated photos and thoughts from the Detroit Auto Show. We had lots of our user interface / embedded projects featured by OEMs at this year’s show. Driver clusters and information displays, as well as TFT touchscreen center consoles. We wanted to show off a cool booth featuring Dodge’s new midsize car, the 2013 Dart. The booth featured a car interior (called the “uconnect”) with a large display showcasing the driver cluster above.

2013 Dodge Dart
2013 Dodge Dart








2013 Dodge Dart
2013 Dodge Dart












2013 Dodge Dart
2013 Dodge Dart

Ford to open Silicon Valley lab

Ford Motor Co. is the latest automaker to open a research lab in Silicon Valley, where it hopes to scout out new technology and keep ahead of trends. Auto makers have shown a penchant towards technology, especially following the big launches at January’s Detroit Auto Show. Many new models featured embedded touchscreen systems with slick user experiences.

Ford plans to open the lab near Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., in the first few months of this year. It will employ around 15 people, including some recruited locally and others who will rotate in from Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn.

See the full article here. 

The Invisible UI

While browsing the latest and greatest from CES, this cool new technology popped up:


I’ve personally always found typing on the iPhone awkward to say the least. Must be my fat thumbs. But this technology didn’t reveal a ‘eureka’ moment for me. What came to mind:

1) Is the best user interface an invisible one? (Reminds me of a blog series we did about User Experience. Here’s a post about OnStar https://www.altia.com/blog/2011/03/28/interfacing-about-user-experiences-part-four-onstar/ …their user interface is essentially just one button)

2) How do we (humans, technology users) like to ‘memorize’ something like the unique taxonomy this method uses?

3) 5th graders were able to learn it. Compared to what, a standard keyboard? Why 5th graders? What about my grandma, would she find this easy to learn and use?

What do you think?

Is this technology something that could stick? Can you see Apple or Google snatching up a company like this and incorporating this into iOS6+ or Android?

CES without Steve Jobs

The Apple Effect

“But wait,” you say, “Steve Jobs never went to CES, so this year is no different.”   You’re right, of course.  But the net he cast always permeated the show.  “What was Apple doing next?”   “How did Apple’s products released last year affect what the rest of the world would do this year?”  “How do other manufacturers fit into Apple’s eco system, or battle the juggernaut?”

This year, the Vegas show seemed different.  Oddly so.  Nobody was talking about Apple, but iPhones and  iPads were being shown everywhere.  Mostly used as generic touch screens that play host to apps that control or monitor  one or more of your home appliances or electronic devices.  Check your oven temperature from your  phone.  Adjust your stereo from your pocket.  Get the status of your home security system.  Steer you robotic vacuum cleaner.  Whatever.  Of course, Android and other tablet variants were also used as the remote control for your life. But the Apple fear factor seems to have subsided, even if their devices where ubiquitous. Dear Cupertino, welcome to the mainstream.



2012 Altia GUI Design Contest

Win Internship + Scholarship!

Calling all Students! 

Altia wants you to design a cutting-edge user interface using our user interface engineering tools. Create any sort of automotive GUI – could be a driver information cluster, center console/infotainment, heads-up visual display, or even rear-seat entertainment – that offers an outstanding user experience. If your design comes out on top, we’ll show you the money!

Head over to https://www.altia.com/contest and register to get started.

Now!  Build an automotive GUI with your Altia Design license and submit your design by April 2nd. Altia will announce the winner on April 13th.

Who’s judging?
We have lined up an impressive panel of experts in user interface design and human factors who will bring over 80 years of combined experience to the table. Our judges will be grading each project based on a set of pre-defined criteria that are detailed on the contest website.

Who is invited?
Future innovators who are at least 18 years of age, residents of the United States, and enrolled in an accredited higher education program are invited to participate.

Email questions to edu@altia.com

VISIT… www.altia.com/contest to register. We’ll send you a download of Altia Design to get you started.

DESIGN… an automotive GUI using Altia’s award-winning user interface engineering tools.

SUBMIT…your final design by April 2nd.

WIN! The contest winner will receive a $2000 scholarship AND a paid summer internship with Altia.

For more details, including our judges’ bios and a complete set of rules, visit altia.com/contest.


Altia Sponsors the 2012 Motorcity Automotive Industry Night

detroit MAIN event lawrence tech
Steve Tengler, Gary Greenwood, Janan Darancou and Daniel Darancou, Chief Designer of CH Auto Technology Corporation, discussing the future of automotive design at the 2012 MAIN Event. (January 8, 2012)

The 2012 MAIN Event welcomes auto execs and celebrates student automotive concepts

On Sunday, January 8, Altia joined Ford Motor Company, Inteva Products, Dassault Systems, Navistar and many others in sponsoring the 2012 Motorcity Automotive Industry Night Event – the MAIN Event – at the Coach Insignia restaurant at the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.

This event welcomed automotive professionals from all over the world to celebrate the eve of the North America International Auto Show – as well as showcase student projects from Lawrence Technological University’s Transportation Design Program. The evening also included a keynote address from Bob Lutz — automotive business legend with a resume that includes executive roles at General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler and BMW – as well as a Fotoula Lambros fashion show.


The ‘Lorax’ of Driver Distraction – In Connected World Mag

Our User Experience Director, Steve Tengler, recently had an article published in Connect World magazine about Driver Distraction- a prevelant theme in the arena of automotive technology. How do you create cutting-edge interfaces for drivers, but minimize the amount of time their eyes aren’t on the road.  In one of his past nine lives, he ran the Global HMI development team at OnStar, as well as had posts at Nissan, Ford, and Visteon. Nice article, Steve!


Source: http://connectedworldmag.com/10_2_magazinearticle.aspx?id=MAZ0111222110440810

2013 Dodge Dart

At this year’s Detroit Auto Show, Dodge  made waves with a new 2013 Dodge Dart. A solid competitor in the midsize sedan category. And of course, lots of great technology including a center stack touchscreen and a digital driver cluster.Check out the interior!




Altia at CES 2012


CES 2012 Logo
Source: http://www.theverge.com/2012/1/7/2690862/ces-2012-biggest-news

CES starts this week, with countless tech blogs announcing the gadgets buried within. (A few of my favorites: The Verge – MashableGizmodo’s live blogEngadget) And just like last year, our intrepid CEO (Mike Juran) will be at the show, meeting with various parties and sending his thoughts back via this very blog. For a quick recap of his writing from last year check out these four blog posts. Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4 (Including a peek at some cool customer work we did!)