Frequently Asked Questions



What is Kanzi?

Kanzi is a complete software solution for the design and engineering of digital human-machine interfaces and user interfaces for automotive and other embedded applications. Kanzi is a data-driven, real-time graphics solution that enables the rapid creation of great-looking branded user interfaces.

Kanzi UI consists of two parts:

  • Kanzi Studio, a PC based tool for designers
  • Kanzi Runtime, a graphics and API engine for running Kanzi user interfaces on target devices

Kanzi Connect is an all-in-one HMI connectivity tool for a seamless multi-screen user experience regardless of the underlying system architecture.

Further products add functionality to the Kanzi UI, including Kanzi Maps, Kanzi Particles, Kanzi Stereoscopy, Kanzi Safety, and more.


Who are the users of Kanzi ?

Kanzi is used in the automotive industry by OEM design teams, Tier1 design teams, and HMI software development/integration teams. Kanzi is also used by design studios. Kanzi is a complete solution that enables designers to visually create HMIs in Kanzi Studio and engineers to implement application code using the Kanzi Runtime API.


Which target hardware does Kanzi support?

You’ll find the list of supported software and hardware target platforms on our Tech Specs page.


Which target operating systems does Kanzi support?

You’ll find the list of supported software and hardware target platforms on our Tech Specs page.


Does Kanzi support Android?

Yes, Kanzi includes built-in support for Android, allowing you to export your HMI application with a single click to be run on an Android device or Android Automotive system.


How does Kanzi integrate with our existing software stack (e.g. state managers, navigation, user input, speech recognition etc.?

Kanzi can be easily integrated into any existing automotive or embedded software stack. In Kanzi, the user interface and application layer are decoupled, which makes it possible to freely switch data sources and application logic without making changes to the user interface.

Kanzi Runtime comes with a well-documented API and a plug-in framework. Application developers use these tools to integrate the UI with the rest of the software stack.


Is it possible to extend the functionality of Kanzi?

Yes. Kanzi includes an easy-to-use plug-in interface which provides complete access to the Kanzi data model and enables you to extend Kanzi functionality with custom plug-ins. This can be used by designers in Kanzi Studio and application developers with Kanzi Runtime.


What kind of HMIs can be created with Kanzi? Can it be used for creating clusters, infotainment systems, or HUDs?

Kanzi can be used for creating any kind of HMI regardless of the use case, screen dimensions, etc.- there are no restrictions. Our technology is already used in millions of production cars, powering various types of HMIs such as instrument clusters and infotainment systems.


Is Kanzi already used in production cars?

Yes, Kanzi has been shipping in production cars since 2012. Our solution is already powering millions of cars on the road. Read more on our Case Studies page.


Can Kanzi be used for developing mobile apps?

Yes, Kanzi can be used for mobile application development. Kanzi includes everything you need for developing modern, scalable apps on mobile platforms.


Are there online Kanzi training videos or sessions available?

Kanzi documentation includes a large set of automotive tutorials and videos. We also organize custom training for customers globally.


Does Kanzi work with HTML 5 applications?

Yes, HTML 5 apps can be included inside Kanzi-powered user interfaces.


Does Kanzi require high-end target hardware?

Not at all – Kanzi runs great on cost-efficient hardware as well. With Kanzi we have achieved e.g. a rich configurable cluster with a 3D car model and 3D maps using a Freescale i.MX6 Solo running 60 FPS at full HD resolution. Kanzi provides many methods for optimizing performance, including our Progressive Rendering technology.

And with Kanzi Lite, Kanzi can run on cost-effective microcontrollers.


Does Kanzi show a preview of what the user interface will look on a target device?

Yes. Kanzi Studio is a WYSIWYG design editor – it uses the same graphics engine as on the target hardware.


How is Kanzi licensed?

Please read about how to Get Kanzi for details about licensing.


Which 2D/3D graphics file formats does Kanzi Studio support?

You’ll find the list of supported file formats on our Tech Specs page.


Are Image Compression algorithms supported?

Kanzi supports the following compression formats that are natively supported by GPUs: AMD Texture Compression (ATC), Ericsson Texture Compression (ETC), PowerVR Texture Compression (PVRTC). Image Compression reduces the time needed to upload image data to the GPU. Using image compression can boost performance.


How does Kanzi render high-quality graphics? Is it pre-rendered?

Kanzi supports both real-time and pre-rendered graphics rendering. However, Kanzi’s strength lies in its real-time graphics engine.

Using real-time graphics can significantly reduce time and cost of your development. Changes can be deployed quickly, while the resource footprint stays low.


Is Kanzi a 3D-only solution?

Not at all. Kanzi is a great solution for both 2D and 3D graphics.

Kanzi has a unified graphics pipeline for both 2D and 3D content. This means that as a designer, you can seamlessly combine 2D and 3D graphics in the user interface. Our 2D rendering is unique in that it leverages OpenGL ES, which gives you access to 3D shaders and allows you to freely manipulate 2D objects in 3D space, for example, and to enhance 2D graphics with real-time visual effects.

On platforms that do not support OpenGL ES, Kanzi can be used with our Kanzi Lite extension. This allows Kanzi to be used on cost-effective hardware with proprietary graphics accelerators.


Does Kanzi support localization i.e. modifying UI language, fonts, right-to-left text?

Kanzi comes with built-in support for localization and internationalization. Any asset (text, image) and any of its properties can be set as a localized asset and controlled using the Kanzi localization system. The Kanzi Runtime API provides full access to the localization system through C++ code.

See this video for details:


How does Kanzi handle changes to 2D and 3D source files? Can designers keep using the design files they started with?

Kanzi Studio provides an easy mechanism for reimporting 2D and 3D content, making it possible to bring in any changes to the source files without breaking the design.


How does Kanzi work with Adobe Photoshop (.PSD) files?

Photoshop files including their layouts, layers, bitmaps, fonts and text can be imported into Kanzi Studio. During the import, all the elements in the PSD files are converted to matching Kanzi counterparts such as text blocks and bitmap images.


How do you animate 3D objects in Kanzi? Do you support keyframe animations?

Kanzi has an animation system which supports importing existing (keyframe) animations from 3D tools as well as creating custom animations. You can use both approaches to create, for example, spinning tires and opening doors.


Which scripting languages does Kanzi support?

Kanzi Studio supports Javascript for adding scripted actions to UI events. Using JavaScript makes it possible to create simple UI logic inside Kanzi Studio that can reduce the complexity in application development. This is useful for early prototyping, for example, as it enables you to implement UI functionality even before you have access to data through the API.


What fonts does Kanzi support?

You’ll find the list of supported fonts on our Tech Specs page.


Can I render content at different framerates inside Kanzi?

Yes, Kanzi comes with Progressive Rendering, which allows you to define the rendering speed for your UI elements. For example, elements on the car diagnostics screen can be set to run at 30 FPS, while speed & RPM needles run at a constant 60 FPS. Rendering content at differing framerates is one of the techniques that can be used for improving performance.


Is it easy to integrate camera image, video playback, display audio, smartphone connect (Apple CarPlay or Android Auto), navigation, and existing graphics applications with Kanzi?

Yes. Kanzi can render images from any resource and integrates with any third-party application seamlessly and easily.


What are the minimum software and hardware requirements for running Kanzi Studio?

You’ll find the list of software and hardware requirements on our Tech Specs page.


Can I run Kanzi Studio on OS X?

Kanzi Studio can be run on Macs via Bootcamp, VMWare Fusion, or Parallels Desktop.


Can multiple users work on the same Kanzi project at the same time?

Yes. Projects can be stored in version control systems (including Git), and you can use Kanzi as the tool for resolving merging conflicts. Multiple users can work on the same project.


Is distributed development possible with Kanzi? Can we share resources or templates across modules?

Yes it is. Kanzi supports the sharing of Kanzi Studio projects, including resources and templates. You can also add linked references to another project, and you can push the changes to these references contents to their original locations. Kanzi Engine can also combine multiple project resource binaries into the final application, allowing you to design them separately.


How do you integrate Kanzi with signals from the CAN bus, FlexRay, and other vehicle systems?

Kanzi can be easily integrated with any external data source such as CAN, FlexRay, Simulink, etc. This is done with the Kanzi Runtime API.


Does Kanzi support SVN or GIT for version control?

Yes. You can store projects in these version control systems and use Kanzi Studio for resolving any merging conflicts.