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Geometric Gauge, the Instrument.
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An important shortcoming of traditional First and Second generation gauges, is its inability to show trends. With Geometric Gauge this is a configurable property for all signals. The trend of the signal is clearly indicated as part of the signal status.In this case the trend of the signal is up and the Delta is changing at a medium speed relative to the defined maximum rate of change. When the signal is stable and not changing, the trend arrows can disappear or abut, and change to hollow shapes.
As we can see here the signal trend is upwards and the rate of change is high relative to the previous image. In the case of the third image below the Trend has reversed and rate of change is less than in the middle image.The trend arrows can be toggled for each signal, independently controlled by the rule set, and individually programmed for each shape or each side of that shape.
Because Geometric gauge measures the quantative value, the sign, the delta and the trend for every signal in the system, it can predict that a signal will reach some defined point prior to this point being reached. This means that we can predict that a signal will reach a warning or an alarm state in the near future. This predictive warning state can prevent system malfunction and failure, as it gives advanced warning, allowing ample time to take corrective action or shut the system down.
Traditional instruments and gauges cannot be overlaid on top of other data. With the mechanical type it is impossible, whilst with the electronic type it is confusing. The problem is that the instrument takes up most of the space within its own display area. Because of the numbers and text needed for the display, as well as the scale and indicator, you cannot see the area behind the gauge, and the background movement would be distracting and confusing when trying to read the gauge.
With Geometric Gauge however, we use shapes that are hollow and take up very little area on the display. There are no text or numbers to read so the display is clean and not confusing at all. This leaves most of the display area available to utilize for video pictures or Map information.
Normally in vehicles today we have the instrument cluster for vehicle performance monitoring, and a display for navigation information, vehicle setup, radio and other infotainment functions. By using Geometric gauge and an LCD panel in place of the normal Mechatronic instrument cluster we can now have all information displayed in front of the driver.
The advantage of using shapes on a Heads Up Display (HUD) is the fact that you can look at the road and the HUD image can be anywhere in your field of view allowing you to still make sense of its information. This image need not be floating in your focal area. Even when the HUD image is directly in front it takes up much less space and so interfere far less with you focus vision. Another advantage stems from the fact that there is nothing to read, no numbers or text, and this helps to combat the problem of fixation. Fixation is when the driver fixates on the HUD and does not look beyond the image.
The software is the gauge. The essence of Geometric Gauge is its software. The hardware (all the hidden stuff), can be the same for all model variants but the software can vary. This allows manufacturers to develop one hardware system and load the software variant for the different model versions. This fact also creates an upgrade path and a way to sell instrument upgrades as an accessory item.
For entry level displays a simple flat image look and feel may be used. For more expensive and up market models the shapes may be beveled and the look and feel can be enhanced, all still only software. As is abundantly clear from this, we can reduce the hardware stock and obsolescence issues. It also means that logistics and instrument life cycles can now be vastly improved.
Work in progress, to be completed.
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