Posts Tagged ‘infotainment’
Satellite-based streaming is a successful enough enterprise for the time being, but even the most naive of executives must know that the momentum isn’t sure to last. In-car LTE and cheap web-based solutions provide access to millions of tracks on demand, making other options less relevant. Doom and gloom aside, there’s still an opportunity to remain afloat, and Sirius XM’s new CEO, Jim Meyer, has a plan to diversify his company’s portfolio of products.
The music would continue to flow, but OnStar-like options would become available as well, according to a Reuters interview with Meyer. Other services, such as weather, realtime gas prices, roadside assistance and stolen car tracking could be implemented with the company’s existing satellite infrastructure, and might be offered on a subscription basis down the line. “This is going to take a while,” according to the new chief executive, who said that the new products might be implemented in certain 2017 and 2018 vehicles, but likely not sooner. Sadly, he’s not talking details just yet, but there may be more to share before the end of next year.
There may be a size war brewing amongst Android-based infotainment system builders. Ca-Fi thought it was sitting rather with its 6.2-inch device previously this year, however we’re beginning to think it was rankled by similarly-sized devices like Parrot’s Asteroid Smart– that would help explain its upcoming, 7-inch Dashlinq. Along with one-upping a nemesis, the double-DIN system brings multitouch zoom to a heavily customized (if a little creaky) Android 2.3 interface. Otherwise, we’re looking at a familiar, if fairly sophisticated method: there’s a committed media DSP, GPS navigation, an SD card slot for regional material and net gain access to through 3G or WiFi. Ca-Fi expects the Dashlinq to arrive in January for & euro; 499 ($ 657), at which point we hope there’s at least a momentary truce in the fight for the vehicle’s center stack.
We first laid eyes on Parrot’s first Android-based Asteroid car infotainment system a couple years ago at CES. Then, at this past year’s show, we got a sneak peek at a trio of successor Asteroid devices. Now, a mere 10 months later, the Asteroid Smart, Tablet and Mini have finally arrived in consumer-ready garb. First, there’s a flagship in-dash system, the double-DIN Asteroid Smart. It features a 6.2-inch 800 x 480 capacitive display, a Texas Instruments 800MHz processor and runs a heavily skinned version of Android 2.3. The Smart also has four USB 2.0 ports (one which pushes 5V to charge an iPod) for connecting external devices like the included GPS antenna or a dongle for cellular data. Plus, there are 3.5mm line-in and microphone jacks to go with a host of RCA connections and a micro-USB port round the back. Bluetooth 3.0 is baked in, and an SD card slot sits behind the detachable security strip to the left of the screen.
The Smart’s siblings, the Asteroid Mini and Asteroid Tablet are also coming to North America this month. The Tablet packs similar specs as the Smart, only it’s got a 5-inch capacitive screen and is portable, as opposed to an in-dash solution. It runs the same skinned version of Gingerbread, has GPS and Bluetooth radios, and packs 512MB of RAM and 1GB of on-board storage, plus an SD slot. It also comes with a wireless touchpad remote so you can control the system straight from your steering wheel. Meanwhile, the Mini, with its 3.2-inch, non-touch screen has a similar form factor to the Tablet and comes with a wireless remote as well. However, its OS is built on Android 1.5 and it relies upon an external GPS antenna like its bigger, double-DIN cousin. The Asteroid Tablet will retail for $ 399, and the Mini will cost a hundred bucks less when they go on sale in a few weeks.
We got to swipe our way around the Parrot Smart, so join us after the break to see it in action.
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Sure, the portable GPS may still have a home among multi-car families, or drivers that have yet to make the jump to a smartphone, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see the dedicated device’s share decline over the next few years. At the same time, in-car infotainment systems are clearly gaining in popularity, so it only makes sense for one of the world’s largest handheld GPS makers to make the jump to in-dash. Garmin’s partnering with Suzuki for its first factory-installed infotainment system, which includes a 6.1-inch “high-res” touchscreen, a CD player and AM/FM radio, internal flash memory, along with USB, AUX jack and Bluetooth connectivity. The voice control-enabled system also includes backup camera support, Pandora integration and an SD card slot for loading updates. One benefit of vehicle integration is access to the car’s speed sensors, allowing the GPS to follow along accurately when it doesn’t have a signal, such as in enclosed areas or tunnels. You can also use Garmin Smartphone Link to access traffic, weather and fuel price info. The in-dash system will ship with most American 2013 model year Suzuki vehicles, along with select cars sold in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Russia. I’ll also be on display at Suzuki’s New York Auto Show booth next week, if you happen to be planning a trip to the Big Apple.
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At last year’s CES, Parrot unveiled its Asteroid car receiver — a nifty little head unit that brought Android apps to a driver’s dashboard. Today, the company expanded its infotainment reach with three new in-car systems: the Asteroid CK, Asteroid Nav, and Asteroid 2DIN. Much like its predecessor, the Asteroid CK features a 3.2-inch color display, and can be attached directly to a vehicle’s dashboard. This Bluetooth-powered, Gingerbread (2.3.4)-laced hands-free system connects to the web via tethered phone or 3G key, giving users access to a host of geolocation services, driving assistance features and streaming music. The device also comes with a wireless remote, and features voice recognition capabilities that allow users to place calls or browse their music libraries without taking their hands off the wheel. The Asteroid Nav, meanwhile, features a five-inch, capacitive multi-touch display and offers many of the same functions you’ll find on the CK, along with an enhanced onscreen navigation system. At the larger end of the spectrum lurks the Asteroid 2DIN: a “2DIN-connected multimedia car radio” designed to fit within the central column of a car’s dashboard. Here, you’ll be able to take advantage of hands-free calling, music streaming services and and RDS text+ service, along with an array of online services and navigation functions. The 2DIN also packs no less than two inputs, with one designed for rearview camera displays, and one for video output. No word yet on pricing or availability, but be sure to check out our hands-on video, after the break.
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Those with tablets will be pleased to know that multimedia playback will be supported via USB, while mobile phones will benefit from quicker automatic Bluetooth pairing and better echo and noise-cancellation. Ford has also baked-in voice support for sports buffs with Sirius Game Finder, as well as bibliophiles with Audible.com integration (which can also be touch controlled, should you desire it). Best of all, you’ll no longer need to recite any parenthetical or bracketed album info your music tracks may have, or the direction of street names when inputting addresses for directions. Speaking of, the TeleNav-enabled nav system will have further map detail courtesy of Navteq, with enhancements like more 3D imaging, “photorealistic” signage and better route planning thanks to “a database of historical traffic patterns.” If you’ve already got some miles on an existing MyFord Touch-enabled ride, no worries — Ford will give your system the upgrade pro bono when it’s available, taking all but a (hopefully) quick visit to your local dealer. Potential and current Ford owners will find more visuals in the gallery below and full details in the press release past break.
Gallery: Ford MyTouch upgrade press shots
Gallery: Cadillac CUE
The automotive industry is the final frontier for many consumer A/V companies and Harman — you know, H/K, JBL, Mark Levinson — just made public the ongoing realationship that’s producing some leading infotainment systems. Luxoft and Harman employs more than 300 “development experts” mainly in a Ukraine dev center where they conjurer up systems at least in part for BMW and Daimler. It’s this now official 4-year old partnership that brought forth current leading infotainment systems over the last few years. Expect more from the team-up in the near future as well.
Luxoft Helps Harman International Develop Sophisticated Infotainment Systems for the Automotive Industry
Moscow, New York, May 16, 2011 – Luxoft, a leading global provider of advanced application and product development services, today announced that it is working with Harman International to conceive of, design and develop sophisticated infotainment systems for the automotive industry.
For more than four years, Luxoft has been involved in the maintenance of Harman’s current products, as well as the development of future products and platforms that are critical to meeting evolving consumer demands, such as the “Internet of Things.” Luxoft has dedicated more than 300 development experts, based mainly in its Ukraine Development Center, to work with Harman to meet its aggressive infotainment development goals.
“Consumer demand in the automotive sector is evolving rapidly, as drivers today are in search of sleek, sophisticated options that not only give them access to vehicle performance data, but also high-end infotainment options,” said Dinesh Paliwal, CEO, Harman International. “To meet that need, Luxoft has proven to be an invaluable partner over the past several years due to its industry expertise, ability to innovate and exceptional product and service delivery.”
Currently, Luxoft is working with Harman on several automotive projects, including embedded real-time operating systems, advanced navigation systems, in-vehicle Internet capabilities and the integration of social networks into the driving experience. Many automotive manufacturers such as BMW and Daimler are currently using infotainment technologies that have resulted from this partnership.
“Over the years, we’ve seen our relationship with Harman grow into the strategic relationship that it is today,” said Luxoft President and CEO, Dmitry Loschinin. “They look to us as a trusted partner, and we look forward to future opportunities to innovate as we’re only scratching the surface of what we can accomplish together.”
“In any such partnership, the most important thing is reliability and accountability for the time critical milestones,” said Paliwal. “Luxoft’s leadership and project teams have been incredibly responsive and attentive to our needs, and as a result, we have started treating Luxoft as our extended organization. We look forward to furthering our relationship with Luxoft and are excited to see what new automotive technologies are possible as a result.”
This week at the Geneva Auto Show, Harman and Mercedes finally released their long-awaited upgradeable in-dash setup. The Becker Map Pilot connects to Mercedes Benz’s existing IP stack providing a way for users to update the system. Currently, only Ford allows users to update to their IP as new software comes out.
The unit can be removed and connected to a PC to update map data, software applications and new features via an online store. Also, the Becker Map Pilot retains use of the voice recognition and steering wheel control. It will start to roll out on the new Mercedes-Benz SLK and C-Class, before the rest of the line gets it. As long as the updates are substantial, drivers will no longer have to fuss with ugly outdated interfaces.
GENEVA Motor Show – 01 March 2011 – HARMAN, the leading global audio and infotainment group (NYSE: HAR), today unveiled an innovative navigation solution for Mercedes-Benz that blends the flexibility of portable navigation devices with the convenience of complete driver cockpit integration. The new BeckerÂ® MAP PILOT continues a relationship between the Company’s Becker brand and Daimler AG that dates back more than 60 years.
The new BeckerÂ® MAP PILOT navigation system, premiering in the new Mercedes-Benz SLK and in the new generation of C-Class, gives drivers a feature-rich and upgradeable navigation solution without compromising the convenience of a highly integrated in-dash OEM solution. Data for the system is contained in a compact, tethered navigation “brain,” which can be easily removed from its docking cradle to update map data or upload the latest applications and feature sets. The unit seamlessly connects to the vehicle’s onboard radio and fixed-screen electronics via a tailor-made cradle conveniently and discreetly housed in the car’s glove compartment.
“The BeckerÂ® MAP PILOT underscores the leading-edge innovation that has resulted from our long association with Daimler AG,” said Michael Mauser, Co-President of HARMAN Automotive. “The system blends the flexibility of the latest generation of portable navigation devices with the convenience of in-dash display and accessible controls to produce a system that is both easy to use and easily upgraded in the field.”
The BeckerÂ® MAP PILOT is operated by means of conveniently-placed controls positioned on the car’s multifunctional steering wheel, the turn/push control, and integrated voice commands. This approach provides maximum functionality while preventing driver distraction. The navigation route is shown on the large-format central display and instrument cluster, and voice instructions are reproduced in the best possible sound quality from the car’s onboard speakers â€“ a distinct advantage over conventional portable navigation systems.
The unique connectivity of the BeckerÂ® MAP PILOT ensures perfect integration and networking with the car’s onboard electronics. The navigation unit can be removed from the vehicle in a single movement and can be updated online anytime using the BeckerÂ® MAP PILOT Webshop site (www.beckermappilot.com) which enables maps and software to be upgraded and personalized information such as points of interest (POIs) to be downloaded simply and conveniently. HARMAN intends to continuously expand the range of new applications available in the Webshop, adapting to the increasing expectations and personal needs of the user.
For maximum security, the BeckerÂ® MAP PILOT is not visible from outside the car and feels like a built-in navigation system when in use. A lock on the integrated cradle prevents the device from being removed without permission, and its location inside the glove compartment ensures the unit remains securely anchored. The direct link to the Mercedes-Benz SLK or C-Class base radio means that the latest traffic warnings and other updates can be incorporated automatically in the route planning system by means of the Traffic Message Channel (TMC), and the guidance system automatically adapts itself to the current traffic situation.
This pioneering system will also be available in other Mercedes-Benz models in the future.