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Components for Building Computers From Scratch/7 Segment Led Display Multilingual Products.

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QUESTION: Dear Bob

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven-segment_display
http://www.maximintegrated.com/en/app-notes/index.mvp/id/1883
http://www.engineersgarage.com/electronic-components/7-segment-display

Is it possible to display content in different languages viz german, french, japanese, french, spanish, dutch, chinese etc using 7 segment led display other than english content in
products ?.

Products Examples : Weighing machine, Treadmill Machine, Steppers, Electronic meters etc

Will there be limitations in having a 7 segment led display for producing these products having 7 segment led display other than english content ?.

For example : Enter weight in Kg - This is english content
display in treadmill displayed in 7 segment LED Display.

Now can we have Treadmill products sold in different countries where the native language is spoken, for example In Japan Japanese, In China - Chinese etc having the equivalent of Enter weight in Kg in other languages viz Japanese, German, French, Italian etc displayed in 7 segment LED Display.

i.e. 7 segment Led display should be able to display multilingual characters other than english content.

Can there be limitations to 7 segment led display in displaying
different languages characters ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: 7-segment generally has considerable trouble with Japanese/Chinese/Korean scripting, but should have no problems displaying German, French, Spanish, etc without the diacritical marks (for example German has the U with umlaut (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/), and while a 7-segment could display the U, it cannot display the umlaut)). Most devices that have to handle Japanese/Chinese/Korean scripting will use a higher resolution dot display or an LCD or OLED in order to properly render the characters, or they will display English or numeric data on a 7-segment display and output textual information via a TV/computer display (for example motherboards can output POST codes as numeric data in all regions of the world, and that uses 7-segment displays).

With the treadmill as an example, what may be easier than having the display fully spell out "Enter your weight" would be to have a field with a few cells that only shows numbers, and have "Weight" or something written out in a number of languages next to it (via silkscreen or similar) and then the segment display allows the user to key in whatever number that corresponds to their weight in kilos. You can see this kind of functionality with components like CD players - they generally won't display non-numeric information but their silkscreening may be localized to a specific part of the world (for example it may all be in Japanese). They also rely on more "universal" glyphs to represent some operations, like the triangle symbol for "Play" or the square for "Stop." This more universal design can make a product more accessible to a wider range of users, including non-literate (or non-literate in the device's "native" language), visually impaired, or otherwise differently abled users. The broader school of thought here is called Universal Design, and draws its roots from American architectural theory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_design

This can both have advantages in terms of making the device/feature available to people who speak all languages, but also pose a safety advantage if we're talking about something like a treadmill where it is important that a user be aware of what the machine is doing (and be able to control what the machine is doing) while they're using it.

-bob





---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Bob

Thank you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid-crystal_display

So as you mention using LCD read out panels with the right software drivers created for characters display, it is possible to design and develop different languages content in Weighing machine, Treadmill Machine, Steppers, Electronic meters etc ?.   

Requirements
------------

A push button on the above products viz Weighing machine, Treadmill Machine, Steppers, Electronic meters for selecting Language content.

If the user selects english, content will be displayed in english on
the LCD Readout panel.
If the user selects French, content will be displayed in french on
the LCD Readout panel.
If the user selects Japanese, content will be displayed in japanese on
the LCD Readout panel.
If the user selects German, content will be displayed in german on
the LCD Readout panel.
and so on ....

In this case the treadmill can be sold to any country as this can be classified has a universal design ?.

Can there be designing and manufacturing challenges for constructing this
multilingual electronic products ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
Many devices with LCDs conform to the kind of design you're talking about, for example the Apple iPod can be switched into a variety of languages and display them appropriately due to its LCD display. Such a device has more complex hardware/software than a numeric counter implemented with 7-segment, but yes it also works as a universal device.

-bob

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.

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