• Jan 6th 2011 at 7:58PM
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Take a close look at the photo above. You're looking at Audi's next generation MMI system being demoed during this morning's keynote at CES. The circuit board to the left is packing NVIDIA's Tegra chipset – the same processor powering a range of tablets and netbooks – and to the right is Audi's new scroll wheel, which has grown considerably. The reason for the added girth? Audi is incorporating the much-lauded MMI Touch interface directly into the scroll wheel. MMI Touch – which originally debuted on the A8 and is making its way to the A7 and all-new A6 – will continue to move down through the ranks of Audi's line-up and will debut on the next generation A3, likely to arrive within the next two years.

The revised MMI Touch will continue to include handwriting recognition, but will also handle scrolling and possibly gestures for panning, zooming and other functions. If you've used an iPhone, iPad or MacBook touchpad, you'll be right at home.

We also got a sneak preview of the Tegra's performance as it seamlessly rendered Google Earth, a new circular navigation menu and full 3D graphics. Audi claims to have over 100 engineers and user interface experts working on its infotainment software, and from what we've seen today, we believe them.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Its sounds good. I dont understand why other car manufacturer doesnt brings this technology.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Handwriting recognition? People are going to be writing and driving? Scary. Especially since so many people don't write well these days because they do it so infrequently. Or rather we do it infrequently.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Note how some of the newer Audis (A7 & A8) have the little trackpad near all the other buttons in the center right under your hand which let you scribble characters or w/e you want.

        I think that's where this comes in...
        • 4 Years Ago
        My experience with Germans... I doubt they'll implement texting/internet integration like some of their American competitors.

        The writing feature is probably intended for Phonebook & Navigation entry.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah that would be distracting..... How will that fit in the dash?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I've used the new Audi A8 Handwriting tech.

        Believe me, its a complete waste of time. The computer does recognize what you are fingering, but, you'll never be able to think about it while you drive so you'll end up in park before you'll use it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        its actually much easier than scrolling through a list of characters. you can easily do it without looking at the screen. friend of mine is one of the 100 engineers working at it
        • 4 Years Ago
        I bet you have not use MMI in your life before. The current 2.0 MMI employs an voice recognition system, which is the only thing you can use when your car is on the move, I am going to expect the same thing for the nex gen MMI system to do the same. Handwriting is for faster input of address info rather than click-wheel it all the time.

        MMI still, imhp, the best car infoment system in the world.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What did I miss? Aren't cars for driving?
      • 4 Years Ago
      "in the next 2 years"? Why do these car manufacturers take so long to incorporate technology into their products? In 2 years this thing will be obsolete (NVidia will have Tegra 4 out at that point). :-(
        • 4 Years Ago
        @SliPaladin: true, but they also mention the new MMI "will *debut* on the next generation A3". I hope that was wrongly quoted.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I imagine that handwriting input will be disabled while the car is in motion just like most other input functions. My understanding is that the handwriting recognition was developed primarily to benefit customers in China.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have a 3G MMI and it doesn't have anything disabled on the move, it just warns you when you start inputting that you should pay attention to the road, but after that, you're free to do it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Two more years until the next A3? What's with the eight year model cycle? I love the A3, but the once slick interior is now totally outclassed by the GTI. Plus it has been de-contented a bit and the pricing is out of control.
        • 4 Years Ago
        the Audis take longer to hit the streets thanthe VW versions, and I'll explain why:

        VW enigneers think up over-ambitious half-baked crap to stick in VW cars, and then when it works like crap, they just shrug, deny the problem, and then go design another half-baked widget.

        Audi, as a subsidiary of VW, inherits the crap VW widgetry and are told to put it in Audis. Audi engineers then spend 3 months screaming at the sky in frustration, 1 month banging heads on desks, 2 months weeping sofly in the corner of a padded room, and then 18 months trying to fix it so it can be used in Audi cars without embarrasement.

        OR, if they are very, very lucky, and have all been good little children, the for Christmas, they get to design something from scratch. Otherwise, Krampus shows up and beats them with a fatigue stretched VW subframe bolt.
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