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User Interface (hardware)

Windows Automotive 4.2

Windows Automotive supports several types of hardware form factors for interaction with the UI. The following form factors are supported:


Keys and buttons — Any number of keys or buttons can be supported. They can be used for hard key events, soft key events, menu items, presets, etc. They can be scanned in software or hardware. Each key can be assigned a unique value that is returned to the driver on interrupt. As a practical limit, only 255 different key codes can be returned to the software, but the driver may also return up to 65536 OEM_SOFTKEY subvariants.

Touch screen (TS) — Support is currently provided for an analog TS. Either a TS controller can be selected for interfacing to the TS or low level driver software can be developed for TS interfacing. For performance efficiencies, an external TS controller is desirable; however, if cost is the driving issue then it may be better to interface directly to the A/D converter talking to the TS.

Rotary knobs — Support is currently provided for a digital rotary knob (32 pulses/rotation). A knob can be quite useful for adjusting volume or other controls.

Voice — It is Microsoft’s position that voice input should be promoted as the primary input method for interacting with the device when driving.


Display (LCD module) — The graphics display chosen should have a resolution in the range of ((256 pixels <= horizontal <= 640 pixels) and (64 pixels <= vertical <= 480 pixels)) Windows Automotive software is scalable and can work with different screen resolutions subject to the limitations defined above. Higher resolutions are also possible, although they will affect memory usage. It is very important that the chosen display be compatible with the graphics controller selected. See section 4, “Display Adapter”, for more details.

Audio Output — See Audio Output.

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