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Kick-Starting HMI Development at Kanzi Dev Days Tokyo

Over 25 Japanese car manufacturers and their suppliers came together in Tokyo to discuss the hottest topics in automotive HMI: connectivity, adaptability, and personalization of the UI. In true Kanzi fashion, ideas were not only discussed but tackled head-on in a series of custom workshops. Guided by Kanzi experts, participants created multiple UI scenes and visual effects to match the demands of tomorrow.

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Kanzi Dev Days is a series of events giving developers a platform to interact with the Rightware team and other Kanzi developers across the globe. Dev Days are packed with tech demos, roadmap discussions, and hands-on workshops with top experts from Rightware. Our second Kanzi Dev Day Tokyo was held September 25-26, 2018, in Shinagawa. The event consisted of two days of customized training and workshops targeted at Kanzi users ranging from seasoned experts to total beginners.

Basics: Getting to know Kanzi

The “Basics” track introduced the Kanzi tools and philosophy to 50 new users. All participants covered Kanzi fundamentals by creating a 3D cluster from scratch.

We tackled some of the most common use cases: creation of 3D gauges, animating 3D content, data bindings, dynamic contact lists, implementing UI logic, and connecting the cluster to vehicle data using Kanzi Data Sources. All of this was done in Kanzi Studio without writing a single line of code! The day was intense, but at the end we saw many smiling faces, eager to take home a completed cluster to serve as a reference in future projects.


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Plugins: Getting more from Kanzi

We invited 20 experienced Kanzi users to take a deep dive into the future of the automotive UX. The intimate workshop environment allowed us to implement use cases like motion blur, particle effects, and maps in the UI.

We started the day by implementing a motion blur effect in a 3D scene using Kanzi render passes. While render passes have been a part of Kanzi Runtime from the beginning, Kanzi 3.6.3 introduced two new render passes, Draw Objects with Material and Material Setup, to make working with them even more efficient and flexible. While motion blur can be achieved in various ways, implementing it with render passes allows for incredibly smooth and high-performing animations, especially useful for fast-moving objects like the speedometer needle.


After this, we built a customized map scene using Kanzi Maps, a map renderer for Kanzi UI. Kanzi Maps allows custom visualization of map and navigation data from various map providers, turning maps into a native part of the Kanzi UI scene graph. This results in a seamless UX with harmonized interaction design and branding across all applications.

In a brief two hours, we managed to create and customize the rendering of multiple land areas, roads, traffic information, buildings, and labels. The final product was a functional 3D map with full routing support. The maps used location data provided by Mapbox, a live location data platform for automotive, mobile, and web applications.


Finally, the participants created two scenes with Kanzi Particles, a particle system for Kanzi UI that simplifies the creation of impressive visual effects. In the first exercise, the developers implemented a climate control view, visualizing AC airflow using particles. The result was combined with UI logic to change particle color based on air temperature, adapting the animation to match the actual environment in real time.


Once the basics were covered, we moved to a music player scene to really let creativity loose. The basic functionality of the scene included particles moving to the beat of the music while adapting their color to the album cover art. However, the result was entirely different for everyone, depending on how they used the various particle emitters, affectors, and colliders provided with Kanzi Particles!


Kanzi Dev Days Tokyo finished with a cocktail event full of interesting discussions, networking, and relaxation after an intense day of workshops. Kanzi Partner Program members and event sponsors Basemark and Mapbox also presented their technologies in a relaxed atmosphere.

We want to thank all participants for making the event a success! We are looking forward to making Kanzi Dev Day Tokyo an annual event, as well as organizing similar events across all continents to reach more users. If you would like to attend a similar event in your region, please submit the form below. We will consider your input when planning future events and invite you to events held in your area!

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