Bentley has developed its own digital screensApril 22, 2020
For Bentley, creating a flat screen with hand-finished wood and metal with knurling around the edges was quite a challenge.
Graham Smith and his Human Machine Interface (HMI) design team took a lot of effort to figure out how to create sensor displays and infotainment screens, as well as the overall interior design, which will age with the car. The key decision came when they had to choose flat digital or skeuomorphic (three-dimensional graphic representation of a physical object). If you look at the graphics of purely digital instruments 10 years ago, you will notice that they age faster than the car of which they were a part.
“In general, skeuomorphism is gradually being reduced in favor of a clear and flat graphic transmission of information. But we were absolutely sure that we would not go all the way to this kind of cutting-edge digital graphics. This would be wrong for the brand and for the car. We still use skeuomorphism, dials and needles to convey the traditional way of getting this kind of information, ”added design director Stefan Zilaff.
The Continental GT and Flying Spur now have the same instrumentation for the driver with subtle design differences. For example, Flying Spur comes with a bronze ring around a speed meter and rev counter. Meanwhile, the Continental GT dials have a 3D effect on the knurling background, and the Flying Spur dial has an external “processed” dial, on which the numbers are applied.
According to the British automaker, the function of the darkened screen mode in the system is designed to provide a kind of “digital detox” for the driver. You can see only a minimum of information: fuel level, engine temperature, time, speed and outdoor temperature. Even the dials of the speedometer and rev counter darken, with the exception of the “soft pool” around the point of each needle.
“There were various alphabets and page orientations in English, Arabic and Chinese, as well as text in 27 different languages for translation and placement in screen layouts. There are three different audio systems – Bentley, Bang & Olufsen and Naim – all with their own graphical interface. This is a logistic maze that requires a patient, logical, problem-solving mind. The Bentley human-machine group consists of three graphic designers and nine “function owners,” each of whom is responsible for a specific area of infotainment – from sound to climate, ”the company said.
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