We present Dash Designer: a mixed-reality design tool for vehicle interiors. The tool consists of a tablet and projector that can be used to create and organize new interactive components for vehicle dashboards. A user can use a freehand sketching interface to draw a new interactive element on the tablet, and a simple set of gestures to motion the created item onto a real dashboard. A simple interface is provided to connect the created components to vehicle data published by an integrated driving simulator. The system is currently a work in progress, and future work will include integration with real vehicle dashboards, autonomous vehicles, and support for participatory design sessions.

This is a little tool I worked on back in 2014 as my first project at CU-ICAR.  It was presented as a work in progress at AutomotiveUI ’14 in Seattle.  Here’s a link to the paper in the proceedings.  If you want a copy, feel free to e-mail me.
Dash Designer lets you draw control elements on a tablet and then “swipe” them to a dashboard screen, where the control elements may be adjusted with gestures using a Leap Motion.  It’d be interesting to revisit this with the new breed of VR controllers.  The control elements may then be interfaced with a simulator.  I don’t remember what we used in the video below, but we eventually also integrated it with Assetto Corsa.

Two projects run in unison to create the experience: on the tablet, one program is used to draw the control elements on a javascript canvas.  They are then uploaded to couchdb running on another computer, which runs a program to display the controls.  It detects a new entry in the db and automatically adds the new element, whose position and size can then be adjusted with the Leap Motion.

The source code may be found on Github here and here.  Note that it’s spaghetti code and one of my first projects.  Also my commit messages left something to be desired back then…


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