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Stay in touch no matter where you are – BMW has expanded the office functions ConnectedDrive so you can receive email messages while driving.
Enabled by a Bluetooth connection, the new BMW feature is the first of its kind. Starting this fall, BMW owners who use a BlackBerry smartphone will be able to access the phone’s e-mail function via the operating system iDrive.
Expanding their role with the integration of entertainment, communication and online functions while driving, BMW’s Bluetooth interface will integrate the BlackBerry device into the vehicle. This will enable e-mails to be received, displayed on the Control Display and even read out by an optional voice output function (this can be activated with the press of a button, the text of the e-mail is then read out loud).
E-mail access will work with the BMW ConnectedDrive office functions, a feature that came out earlier this year. With this cool feature, you can call and contact lists, and calendar entries, text messages, tasks and memos will be transferred from compatible BlackBerry smartphones to the vehicle via Bluetooth interface. Using the Controller of the iDrive operating system, entries can be selected and shown on the Control Display. You can also play your saved music using the iDrive system. This system only works with the BlackBerry Pearl 3G at this time, but we would be surprised to see even more smartphones added to the list in the near future.
The new e-mail function is available for all BMW models fitted with the navigation system Professional including mobile phone preparation. It will be offered in Europe and North America starting in the fall of 2010.
A few years ago, I was opining that in-car technology was pitiful and useless — mostly because I had no way to connect my iPod to a car stereo — before the days of AUX-in and USB connections BMW and BlackBerry seem to have waded into the next generation of in-car apps with their latest Bluetooth update that allows drivers to have emails read aloud via the car stereo and iDrive.
Since I now think that anything opposed to the art of driving should be banned (even cupholders), this trend of allowing drivers to access email while behind the wheel makes me sick.
That said, if you’re so inclined, the feature will be rolled out first on the BlackBerry Peark 3G, but will soon extend to all devices running the BlackBerry 6 OS.
Video after the jump: